Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday suspended his long-time adviser and Rajya Sabha MP Pyari Mohan Mohapatra from the BJD and cracked the whip against four other dissident MLAs and ministers. The action came three days after Mohapatra held a meeting of dissident party leaders,when Patnaik was away in London on an official tour. The meeting was seen as a bid to topple the state government.
After his return from London,Patnaik held day-long discussions on Friday with his party MLAs and MPs about the failed coup planned by Mohapatra. Besides interacting with leaders in groups,the Chief Minister held one-to-one meetings with party MLAs,including about 20 of those who had attended the meeting at the house of Mohapatra.
He then sacked Women and Child Development Minister Anjali Behera and Minister of State for Commerce and Transport Sanjiv Sahoo and,besides Mohapatra,suspended MLAs Prabhat Ranjan Biswal and Bibhuti Bhushan Balabantray.
Governor Muralidhar Bhandare accepted the Chief Ministers recommendation of dismissal of the two ministers late on Friday evening. However,there was no announcement on the fate of other Mohapatra loyalists such as Energy Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak and Urban Development Minister Sarada Prasad Nayak who were active during the meeting at Mohapatras residence.
Soon after the suspension order,Mohapatra came down heavily on Patnaik calling him a traitor while swearing revenge. The entire party has been built by my hard labour and this man (chief minister) has turned out to be a traitor. While the BJD had only 10,000 members in 2000,it has now above 27 lakh due to efforts made by me. In the last 12 years,I have willingly taken the blame for all his wrongs and swallowed poison for him. But I have never minded it. But now I would not sit quiet. I would go to people. When he sends the chargesheet of suspension,I would reply. He would not be able to handle my reply, Mohapatra told reporters at his residence.
When asked whether he would divide the party,he said he was still with the BJD.
My problem is with the people who started the conspiracy against me three months ago. They poisoned CMs ears after we won the panchayat polls handsomely. There are 27 lakh workers in the BJD and they know who has built the party. It is the dedicated workers who have built the party. Has he ever added a brick to the party? Does he know the partys constitution? Who is he to suspend me, said Mohapatra.