ONI Bureau: Till a few weeks ago, they were happy and content that BJP was not going to paint Odisha in saffron colour and Naveen Patnaik – Enemy of their Enemy No. 1, will get another term even without a fight. They knew Congress was sinking in the state while BJP failed to make any big inroads to dethrone Naveen Patnaik. But, suddenly they have become restless… Why?
The ultra-left forces have no such love for BJD or Naveen Patnaik. They hardly bother about plight of people of Odisha. They don’t care whether Odisha develops or not. They have one point agenda – hate BJP, PM Modi, RSS and Hindutva. They can’t tolerate anything positive about them and indulge in 24×7 battering of BJP and Modi. But, why they are against Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda? Isn’t it baffling?
NO. It’s quite obvious. The suspension of Baijayant Panda has almost dashed their hopes. They know it well that if there is one leader from Odisha, who is appreciated and admired by people across political, media and intellectual circle, that is Baijayant Panda. And, his decent way of politics and clean image may pose a big threat to Naveen Patnaik in the long run.
They are worried as they are under impression that Jay Panda would join the BJP because he has been praising PM Modi’s leadership and work for the last three years. These forces want “intellectual poverty” in Odisha so that BJP does not rise here. As they link Jay Panda’s fight against the ‘bureaucratic system’ in Odisha to BJP’s gameplan to break the BJD, they are nervous and insecure today.
So, what’s their strategy? The ‘dirty game’ has already begun. The Ultra-Left elements are either doing it voluntarily to stop BJP or hired by the ruling party in Odisha to malign Baijayant Panda at the national level as well in the elite circle. There’s a viral WhatsApp message being spread by “neutral” people, which says Quatrochhi’s son had met Priyanka Vadra at a party hosted by Jay Panda in 2006.
The allegations were vehemently denied by the Congress at that time. The BJP and BJD were allies then and none of the parties raised any question. Neither Naveen Patnaik nor any of his party leaders never approved these allegations and reposed trust in Baijayant Panda. If BJD and Naveen endorse such malicious attack now, they would be in the dock as questions would be asked why they kept a mum on this issue for 12 long years?
Not only such WhatsApp messages, but some so-called “Scholars” and “Intellectuals” who always love to write against Hindutva and Indian Society & Culture, have been entrusted with the task of writing against Baijayant Panda, who is yet to speak a single word against his leader – Naveen Patnaik, who unceremoniously suspended him without a hearing. He still says Naveen fell prey to the conspiracy against him.
A range of academics and compromised journalists are trying hard to protect the failure of BJD government and spin lies and half truths about Baijayant Panda, as they believe only Baijayant Panda can pose a threat and big to Naveen Patnaik’s invincibility in the state. They are going all out to stop Jay Panda who they believe would take over the reigns of the state with the help of BJP.
Ironically, they either forget or ignore the fact that Naveen Patnaik was BJP ally for 9 years and severed ties only because of late Pyari Mohapatra. While Naveen ignores the State Leaders, he is always closer to central leaders and leads the way in implementing central schemes and supporting PM Modi’s moves. And, there is no reason why he won’t join hands with BJP in future, may be at the national level… They should not forget that it was BJP under Vajpayee-Advani-Mahajan that projected Naveen as an alternative in Odisha and the rest is history!
One of such academician Ashok Swain, a Sweden-based Professor has recently launched a tirade against Jay Panda with a provoking article. He has written an article on ‘The Outlook’, the magazine that bestowed ‘Best Administrator’ Award on the Odisha CM a few months ago. Title of the article says, “No Need For The BJP To Be Thrilled, Jay Panda Is Only A Twitter Tiger In Odisha Politics”.
If Jay Panda is just a ‘Twitter Tiger’, why Ashok Swain and his peers are worried? Why they are being forced to write such articles belittling him politically. They admit Jay Panda is immensely popular on Twitter, but do they know what he is doing for the people in the constituency? Do they know the pulse of people, sitting in Sweden, Australia and USA?
The main grudge of Ashok Swain is clearly visible with his statement, “The four-time MP has been out of Patnaik’s favourite list since 2014 after his open flirting with BJP when Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister”. He even claims “Jay Panda, the self-proclaimed founding member of the BJD”, ignoring the fact that families of Biju Babu and Jay Panda share personal bonding since ages when even Naveen Patnaik was out of the loop. Jay Panda lent shoulders to Biju Babu’s dead body in 1997, thanks to that family bonding. But, why Ashok Swain and his group would bother to know?
Ashok Swain says “Naveen is extremely particular about his clean image and he knew that two family companies (ICCL and IMFA) of Jay Panda are among the 20 bank defaulters in India”. Then why Naveen kept giving ticket to Baijayant Panda? Why didn’t he take action? If Panda is not quilty, so is Naveen. But, instead of focusing on all angles, Swain chooses to attack Jay Panda only.
“Jay Panda is erudite, rich and connected, but a rootless politician. He has a television channel in Odisha, but without a political party’s support, it will not be possible for him to win an election,” he says. Is Ashok Swain an Astrologer? How connected is he to people of Odisha? And, if Jay Panda does not make sense to him, why he has chosen to write a such long piece against him? Malicious intent? Sponsored? Hatred towards BJP, or really worried about Jay Panda’s rise?
A so-called intellectual without going deep to research about Odisha’s progress, decline in the last 18 years and suggesting remedies and improvements, is busy promoting a single party and leader just to stop BJP, saying “it would be a daydream for the saffron party to win elections in Odisha”. We all admit that Naveen still remains popular and a good choice for the people in the state. But, we must allow Opposition to create an impact – win or loss does not matter. For the sake of healthy democracy, we want strong opposition – both in the state and centre. But, people like Swain want no changes. At one hand, they call Modi a ‘Dictator’ and call for opposition unity to oust him. On the other hand, they leave no stones unturned to discredit and demotivate the opposition in the state. Hypocrisy!
The entire exercise that is going on today, hints at nervousness of some people at the top even though all writers try their best to write obituary of BJP as well as Jay Panda in Odisha Politics. But, the more they discuss on it, the more their would expose themselves in public.
And, finally he passed the judgement –
“Jay Panda is neither a mass politician nor a great political strategist. His departure will not make even a slight dent to BJD’s electoral prospect. By getting him, BJP might strengthen its presence in television and Twitter, but will fail to gain anything in the Odisha politics”.
Even, BJD leaders in Odisha not issuing such hard-hitting statements what Mr. Swain is doing from Sweden. He has used every possible strong words to discredit Jay Panda. Why so? His writing reflects not only his ignorance but also confirms his political bias.
His byline should read as: “The Writer strongly hates and loathes BJP & everyone else who is even remotely associated with the party or government”. And, the same applies to all others who indulge in hate and malicious propaganda irrespective of political affiliation.