BJD justifies decision to expel MLA Pradeep Panigrahi from party

Bhubaneswar: Following expulsion of Gopalpur MLA Pradeep Panigrahi from the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) for anti-people activity, the party today justified its decision to show exit door to the leader.

At a time the COVID-19 situation was grave in Ganjam district putting lives and livelihoods of millions at risk, Pradeep Panigrahi was flying in charter planes and enjoying luxurious accommodations in cities like Mumbai and Pune. He was cheating people of his own constituency and taking bribe promising the unemployed youth to provide them jobs through Akash Kumar Pathak, an accused arrested along with IFS officer Abhay Kant Pathak, his father, on charges of accumulating properties disproportionate to their source of income, the party alleged.

“Panigrahi along with Pathaks travelled lavishly in charter flights and led an extravagant life while people of Ganjam were suffering from COVID-19. He along with Pathak family spent about Rs 84 lakh for staying at the Hotel Taj in Mumbai. They had also spent lakhs at the Hotel Taj Palace in Delhi,” BJD’s spokesperson Lenin Mohanty told media today.

He alleged Panigrahi of playing a key role in job fraud allegations leveled against Akash Pathak.

“He was defrauding people of lakhs with help of a racket being run by Akash Pathak by promising jobs in Tata Motors. The latter was taking bribe from job seekers by impersonating himself as the MD of Tata Motors,” Mohanty said.

While the State Government and Ganjam administration were struggling to save lives of people in fight against COVID-19 during the month of August this year, Panigrahi, who represents Gopalpur in hotspot Ganjam district, was enjoying lavish lifestyle. He also breached people’s trust for which the party supremo Naveen Patnaik took stringiest action against the erring party man.

Speaking with one voice, party’s another spokesperson Pratab Deb said that CM Patnaik had never taken any decision without genuine reason or valid proof against anyone in the party.

He rubbished allegations by Panigrahi stating, “CM Patnaik is not controlled by anyone. He is the Supreme in the party.”

“CM Patnaik consciously used the word anti-people as it was like Nero playing music when the whole Rome was burning. It is a very insensitive inhuman display of power and arrogance that is characteristic of an anti-people attitude by Pradeep Panigrahi,” the BJD said in a release.

Meanwhile, the sacked leader alleged police of torturing his family members, relatives and supporters in this connection.


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