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Focus on Pyari ahead of meet

Pyari Mohan Mohapatra

Bhubaneswar, Nov. 15: The stage is almost set for the expulsion of rebel BJD leader and Rajya Sabha member Pyari Mohan Mohapatra from the BJD.

He was suspended in June from the party in the wake of an alleged coup attempt against Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik in May.

The BJD’s executive body meeting, slated for tomorrow, is likely to authorise Naveen to take the final call on the out-of-favour leader.

“There has been a hue and cry in the party across the state to expel Mohapatra, who has been indulging in anti-party activities. The party is likely to take a decision in this regard during tomorrow’s executive body meeting,” said the party’s general secretary Narendra Swain.

The meeting assumes significance as it is being called prior to the Mohapatra-floated Odisha Jan Morcha’s (OJM) much-publicised meeting, Kranti Samabesh, at Bhawanipatna in Kalahandi district on November 19.

As Naveen has been cautious in his dealings with Mohapatra, the latter had almost dared the CM to take action against him and had gone to the extent of saying that Naveen was no longer the party president.

Mohapatra had been raising a host of legal issues pertaining to the party constitution. Mohapatra had claimed that the party’s executive had not been convened for the past 32 months. The last executive body meeting was held in January 2010. According to the party’s constitution, the executive meeting should be called twice a year.

Mohapatra went a step forward and floated the OJM to air his views and organised a rally in the state capital to ostensibly strengthen the BJD.

After Mohapatra floated the outfit, there has been constant pressure on the party leadership to take disciplinary action against him.

However, the party is yet to take action perhaps fearing that he might immediately take the legal route. With Mohapatra continuing his diatribes against the leadership, the party now seems close to taking stern action, sources said.

“Scared of the OJM, the BJD called the executive meeting hurriedly. They even took signatures of the leaders on blank paper. Naveen Patnaik has no legal authority to take action against me as he is no longer the party president,” said Mohapatra.

Senior party leader and panchayati raj minister Kalpataru Das said: “Mohapatra wanted cheap .”

Health minister Damodar Rout said tomorrow’s meeting had been called to discuss organisational matters so that BJD could be strengthened.