BHUBANESWAR: Four-time BJD MP from Odisha Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda quit the regional outfit on
Monday, four months after he was suspended for anti-party activities.
A heart-broken Panda submitted his resignation in a three-page letter to BJD supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and expressed his anguish at the treatment meted out to him.
Panda was among the early members of the regional party which has been in power in the State since 2000. “It is with deep anguish, hurt and sorrow that I have decided to quit the kind of politics into which our BJD has descended. With the BJD and you yourself having made it abundantly clear that I am unwanted, it is only right for me to dissociate from it,” he stated in the letter to Naveen.
The industrialist-turned politician also has hinted to resign from the Lok Sabha after performing the last rites of his father Bansidhar Panda, who passed away recently. “Separately, I will be conveying my decision formally to the Honourable Speaker of the Lok Sabha to accept my resignation from the August institution upon completion of my religious obligation of bereavement,” the letter read.
Expressing his hurt over the non-attendance of BJD leaders after his father’s death, Panda stated that he was heartbroken when several party leaders conveyed that they had been restrained from coming to pay their last respects to the departed soul.
“It is now irrefutably clear that the BJD does not want me anymore and in fact wants me out. I have stoically borne my self respect to continue to be associated with the party in an atmosphere as mean
minded as this,” he said.
Discussing how he had helped establish and grow the party, the estranged leader said he had several times privately brought to the attention of Naveen about the party’s deviation from its original philosophy of humility and transparency as well as the hurdles he had been facing due to an internal conspiracy against him.
“Thereafter, I have been viciously targeted including being physically assaulted with stones, bricks and eggs at Mahanga last May. I was extremely saddened when you did not bother to call to inquiry about my health and safety, nor even when we met several times at party forum after the incident,” he said.
He was suspended from the primary membership of the party for anti-party activities on January 24 after several district workers lodged complaints against him for anti-party activities. In fact, the four-time Parliamentarian drew ire of the BJD boss after he wrote an article in a local daily criticising the functioning of the regional party last year.
He targetted the Chief Minister’s Office for the party straying from the ideals of Biju Patnaik but it was a veiled attack against Naveen’s private secretary and IAS officer VK Pandian.
Panda, who was nominated to the Rajya Sabha twice, also won from the Kendrapara Lok Sabha constituency as many times as a BJD nominee in 2009 and 2014.