Two days after an abortive coup attempt by his party Rajya Sabha MP Pyari Mohan Mohapatra against his government,Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik returned to Bhubaneswar on Thursday evening from a nine-day UK trip to a rapturous welcome by hundreds of BJD workers.
Soon after his arrival at Bhubaneswar airport,he was greeted by partymen carrying placards and banners and shouting Naveen Patnaik Zindabad. The entire one-km route from the airport to his residence was thronged with party MPs,MLAs and workers as well as common people who burst crackers and beat drums.
I am moved and touched by the love of mothers,brothers and sisters of Orissa. It was a fantastic reception. I came back to Orissa a day before scheduled as I was told by sources of certain events taking place in Bhubaneswar. I am grateful to my MPs and MLAs, the Chief Minister said.
While he was away,his former mentor Pyari Mohan Mohapatra tried to split BJD with the support of 33 MLAs including 4-5 ministers. But the attempt failed with 10 MLAs backing off.
Mohapatra later dared the Chief Minister to suspend him saying he had the party workers behind him.
After reaching his residence,Naveen held discussions with senior ministers,MPs and MLAs about possible action against Mohapatra and other dissident MLAs and ministers.
BJD sources said Naveen was weighing all the pros and cons of disciplinary action against Mohapatra as it was likely to cause a churning in the 15-year-old party.