Pajero row: Intra-fighting comes to fore in Odisha’s BJD

Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 15: 

Politics surrounding Odisha Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare (FSCW) Minister Sanjay Das Burma’s alleged links with chit fund company AT group today got murkier with more and more voices from BJD speaking up against each other.


After Leader of Biju Janata Dal Parliamentary Party in Lok Sabha Bhartruhari Mahatab, Excise Minister Damodar Rout and Sambalpur MP Nagendra Pradhan; Dhenkanal MP Tathagata Satpathy today joined the bandwagon and launched an indirect yet scathing attack on Das Burma.

“There are many rats in the godowns of FCI across the country. They chew away the sacks and eat the rice, sugar and wheat stored in there. Does that mean we should throwaway all the grains stacked up there! Throwing away won’t be logical. Instead, it is important to find out the rats and set cages for them,” said Satpathy without taking Das Burma’s name.

Taking matters little further, Satpathy also took a dig at party Vice President Damodar Rout without taking his name for his “moral obligations” comments on the issue.

“I don’t know who said that, but I think people should think carefully before making statements. Once it is aired in electronic media or printed, it becomes part of history. These people should also look back into history and recall what other women and men said about them in the past,” he said taking a jibe at Rout who, on April 13, indirectly urged Das Burma to step down on moral grounds as former Chief Minister Nabakrushna Choudhary did.

Notably, couple of women leaders — Basanti Bera and Snehangini Chhuria – in the past allegedly brought sexual harassment allegations Rout. While Chhuria incident got limited coverage in the press run by Satpathy, Bera incident was widely published. The minister refuted the allegations and never resigned from his post on both occasions. Satpathy, quite possible, was referring to these occasions when he referred to the “history” and “what other women said”.

Not a man to give in, Rout retaliated back.

“He also has a history and I know that well. If he questions my past, I should also question his past. Now, should we get personal while doing politics,” chided Rout while adding that a minister only resigns when the Chief Minister asks him to.

Party spokespersons, on the other hand, tried to defend beleaguered Das Burma and asked others to exercise restraint.

“CBI is doing its job based on the evidence. We shouldn’t hold someone guilty until proven so. The leaders should exercise restraint and not make unnecessary comments. There are both snakes and frogs in here. If anyone does anything wrong, his personal reputation would be at stake. It won’t affect the party,” said BJD Spokesperson Amar Prasad Satpathy speaking to reporters today.

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