Rebel BJD MLAs likely to face suspension
Bhubaneswar: The public statements by the three BJD MLAs, Damodar Rout, Debashis Nayak and Kashinath Mallick, against their party supremo and chief minister Naveen Patnaik, are most likely to be suspended from the party.
Rout, who has all along questioned the role of BJD Rajya Sabha member Pyari Mohan Mohapatra as the second power centre in the BJD, further sharpened his reaction after being sacked from the Cabinet in its recent reshuffle.
He had said that it is only Mohapatra who calls the shots in the party and that Patnaik disposes what Mohapatra proposes.
Nayak, a former minister, is also aggrieved over not being inducted into the ministry, which he had expected in the wake of Pramila Mallick's removal from the Cabinet a few months ago following the scam relating to the supply of rotten rice in the schoolchildren's midday meal programme.
Nayak, who had so far remained a silent critic of Mohapatra, took cue from Rout in public, as he was ignored during the ministry reshuffle, dashing his hopes to represent the district of Jajpur in Pramila Mallick's place.
Daspalla Scheduled Caste MLA Kashinath Mallick, who has been elected to the Assembly for the first time, has been at loggerheads with local party MP Rudra Madhab Ray, known to be close to Mohapatra.
His latest grievance is that Ray used casteist remarks against him and that the party leadership is exerting pressure on him to withdraw his criminal case against Ray in this regard.
Interestingly, another aggrieved leader, Bijay Ranjan Singh Bariha, the tribal MLA representative from Bargarh district, who was also dropped from the Cabinet has chosen to keep silent after initial rumblings, especially through a local tribal outfit.
Similarly, five-time MLA from Jajpur district, Kalpataru Das, who has always felt he is not being made a Minster because he is not a follower of Mohapatra, has preferred not to join issue with Rout and Nayak, for reasons best known to him.
Political circles, however, attribute his silence to the controversy over his son's involvement in a questionable iron ore transportation business.