Bhubaneswar: After being removed from the post of Biju Janata Dal (BJD) vice president, Khandapada MLA Soumya Ranjan Patnaik questioned the genuineness of the signature of party supremo Naveen Patnaik in the office order.
“I have a doubt on the party’s order duly signed by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on my removal from the post as vice president of the BJD. Because, a week ago, I had sought a two-minute time to meet the CM. I was not given appointment, instead, I got this removal letter today. Therefore, I suspect whether the signature of the party president is genuine or forged,” Soumya Ranjan Patnaik told reporters here today.
On his removal from the party post, he said that he has lost nothing and termed the position in the party as ‘ornamental’.
“I lost the vice president post in BJD and by losing it, I do not think, I have lost anything. Many in the party hold key positions but have no role in party affairs. What was I doing as the vice president? The post was only ornamental. Thus, after losing it, I do not perceive it as a loss to me,” Patnaik said.
Earlier in the day, the BJD removed Patnaik from its vice president post, neither by citing any reason nor by seeking show-cause.
The move by the party came after Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, who is also Editor of Odisha’s largest circulated daily ‘Sambad’, raised vital questions in a series of editorials in his newspaper on expenses being incurred for trips and official programmes of 5T Secretary VK Pandian in districts.
The action against Patnaik drew flaks from opposition members in Congress as well as BJP.
Criticising BJD, senior Congress leader and former OPCC President Niranjan Patnaik said, “BJD is a private company, it runs without following any rule. Soumya Babu was appointed as party’s vice president by Naveen Patnaik himself. He has never criticised his party supremo, rather he questioned the system and governance for welfare of the party and people. This is BJD’s internal matter, removing him proves it is an autocratic party. Such thing never happens in Congress. Our president and vice presidents are elected by party members.”
BJP leader Pradeep Purohit condemned the move by BJD supremo for removing Soumya Ranjan Patnaik. He also raised his doubt on signature of the CM in the party order.