Cuttack MP Mahtab remark points to discontentment in BJD
Mahtab said he had four issues of which one is if he would be contesting in the 2024 elections. He, however, did not reveal the three other issues.
BHUBANESWAR: The growing discontentment in the BJD was in view again on Monday with senior parliamentarian and Cuttack MP Bhartruhari Mahtab announcing that he has several issues to raise within the party The MP, who has been sidelined for the last couple of years, had skipped the 25th foundation day celebrations of the party on December 26 fuelling speculations in political circles.
Mahtab said he had four issues of which one is if he would be contesting in the 2024 elections. He, however, did not reveal the three other issues. “I will come out with the points soon,” he said. Though the senior leader did not make any statement directly against the leadership, his response to different questions from media persons after a function to celebrate the freedom fighters day here has pointed towards a sense of growing unease in the party.
Mahtab avoided a question on his absence from the foundation day celebrations of the party. “Puri MP Pinaki Mishra was also not there. Have you asked him,” he said and added, “Where was he.” However, Mishra’s absence from the function was announced by the party. It was explained that he did not attend the function as he was unwell. But there was no mention of Mahtab at the function.
The senior leader also mentioned about the growing focus of the BJP on several Lok Sabha seats in the state. The Cuttack Lok Sabha seat is also under the BJP’s scheme of things since the 2014 election. In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP had secured four lakh votes in the seat, he said. Mahtab had won from the Cuttack Lok Sabha seat for the sixth consecutive term in 2019, though his margin of victory came down to over 1.22 lakh votes against his BJP rival Prakash Mishra. In the 2014 LS polls, Mahtab had trounced his nearest Congress rival Aparajita Mohanty by over three lakh votes.
It is not for the first time Mahtab is in the spotlight for raising controversial issues. In an editorial in a local daily edited by him in July 2021, Mahtab had said that there is a decline of democracy in political parties which were now being run like companies. However, senior BJD leader Debi Prasad Mishra dismissed talks of any differences in the BJD. “I had talked to Mahatab and Mishra,” he said.