Bhubaneswar, Aug. 4: Rajya Sabha member Pyari Mohan Mohapatra, who was suspended from the Biju Janata Dal for leading a failed coup against Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik, today resigned from the post of the party’s parliamentary leader in the Upper House.
“I have sent the resignation (letter) to Rajya Sabha chairman,” Mohapatra told reporters here on return from New Delhi today.
Though Mohapatra was suspended from the party on June 1, the leadership did not take any action against Mohapatra. The Rajya Sabha is scheduled to meet on August 8.
“I quit the post due to lack of communication between the party president and me,” said Mohapatra who had wielded considerable influence in the party in the past.
Naveen, who had described Mohapatra as a “betrayer”, had not only suspended him and two of his supporter legislators on June 1, but also sacked three of his followers from the ministry.
Recently on Thursday, Naveen dropped five more ministers for their perceived closeness to Mohapatra. However, an undaunted Mohapatra had asserted that all the BJD legislators were “loyal” to him. This was strongly refuted by some of his earlier followers.
Rajya Sabha member Baisnab Charan Parida said since Mohapatra had been suspended from the party, he could no longer represent the BJD in Rajya Sabha. So his resignation was inevitable.
“After election of the new parliamentary party leader, our party president will intimate Rajya Sabha chairman. Accordingly, seats will be allocated”, said Parida.
Another Rajya Sabha member Sashi Bhusan Behera said Mohapatra should have resigned the day he was suspended from the party.
BJD has six seats in Rajya Sabha including Mohapatra. Besides, an Independent candidate A.V. Swamy has been elected to the Upper House with BJD’s backing.