ONI Bureau: While speaking at a discussion in New Delhi on Senior Journalist Ruben Banerjee’s biography on Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik, former BJD MP Baijayant Panda alleged that a ‘coterie’ has taken over the party (BJD) and sidelined the leaders of Biju legacy.
“A handful leaders and officers are now at the helm of the government. The coterie has been successful in removing those who were part of ‘Biju Parivar’ for years. Tainted officials are given sensitive posts while elected representatives caught on camera in sex and murder sting CD continue to enjoy power. This is not the old Naveen Patnaik we were proud of,” he said.
While responding to question on his next political move, Jay Panda said, “I have not made up my mind yet. One thing that I have been trained by Naveen Patnaik is not to take any decision until it is absolutely essential”.
When asked why he is against Naveen Patnaik, Baijayant Panda said, “I don’t hate Naveen; but I am a hurt and disillusioned person,” hinting at how Naveen did not take even inquire about his well-being, when he was physically assaulted in Mahanga last year and then he and the entire BJD leadership failed to pay last respects to his late father Dr. Bansidhar Panda.
Senior Journalist and Editor of Outlook Magazine, Ruben Banerjee asserted that Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik has always been ‘autocratic’ and ‘undemocratic’. Banerjee also did not buy the arguments that Naveen is being controlled by a bureaucrat, saying it’s planned ploy by the BJD President to use his resources effectively and stay on the safe side.
Senior Journalist Rajesh Mohapatra who moderated the discussion, said that Odisha is heading to a big financial crisis by 2020 because of the way corruption at the block level has been institutionalized in the state.