With Rajya Sabha MP Pyari Mohan Mohapatra suspended from the ruling BJD,Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today said he was not adverse to taking back certain leaders who had quit the party earlier.
“If some leaders wish to return to BJD,we’ll certainly examine the matter,” Patnaik told reporters replying to a question on his party’s efforts to unite Biju Parivar.
Stating that some leaders had left the party due to some reason or the other,Patnaik remarked that he had already taken back four NCP MLAs into the party fold.
Former NCP legislature party leader Amar Satpathy was earlier with the BJD and had served Patnaik’s council of ministers from 2000 to 2002 before joining the Sharad Pawar-led party.
The BJD’s three vice-presidents — Finance Minister Prafulla Ghadai,Health Minister Prasanna Acharya and former minister Damodor Rout — welcomed Patnaik’s move to open doors for leaders who had earlier quit the party due to differences with Mohapatra.
“As Pyari Mohan Mohapatra has already been suspended from the party,many leaders now want to return to the BJD. Some leaders had quit the party because of Mohapatra,” Ghadai said.
Acharya also gave similar indication saying that a number of Biju Parivar members have gone to oblivion when Mohapatra was at helm of affairs in the party for about a decade.
“Under the changed situation,they could make a come back,” the health minister said.
While welcoming the move to unite members of Biju Parivar,BJD vice-president Damodar Rout had a word of caution.
“The people who follow Biju Patnaik’s ideology and respect Naveen Patnaik’s leadership,will be allowed entry to the BJD,” he said.
Rout said the recent coup bid by a section of ruling party leaders had come as a lesson for the party and its leaders. “We should not take any leader who will pose danger to Naveen Patnaik’s leadership,” he said,adding that adequate care should be taken before allowing entry to any leader into the party.
A number of former Biju Parivar members had joined different political parties like the Congress and BJP after they were not given importance in the BJD.
Last week,Mohapatra had lashed out at Patnaik,calling him a ‘traitor’.
“The entire party has been built by my hard labour and this man (Patnaik) has turned out to be traitor,” Mohapatra had told reporters,but ruled out a split in the party.
Cracking the whip in a bid to check dissidence in ruling BJD,Patnaik had suspended Mohapatra from the party and sacked two of his ministers from the government.
Venting his anger,Mohapatra,a bureaucrat-turned key strategist and an adviser to Patnaik for over a decade had said,”I am shocked but not surprised. Because Patnaik has been planning for the last three months. This was after he saw my popularity in the panchayat elections and before that in the by-elections in the state assembly.”