| Naveen Patnaik and Pyari Mohan Mohapatra |
Bhubaneswar, Nov. 16: Biju Janata Dal supremo and chief minister Naveen Patnaik today expelled former aide and Rajya Sabha member Pyari Mohan Mohapatra from the primary membership of the party for indulging in anti-party activities.
The BJD’s executive body, which met after 32 months here today, unanimously passed a resolution to this effect.
Mohapatra was suspended in June in the wake of a failed coup against the chief minister on May 29 when he was away in London. Along with Mohapatra, the party also expelled his close associate, Yagenswar Babu.
Terming his expulsion as “unconstitutional”, Mohapatra said: “I had anticipated it. The decision to expel me is null and void. I will go to the 27 lakh BJD workers and people of Odisha to tell them how I have been deprived of my rights.”
Stating that he would not go to the court of law, Mohapatra said the workers were the best judge. “Of the 27 lakh workers, 20 lakh are disgruntled. Fight for our rights will be further intensified,” he said.
The expulsion will not affect Mohapatra’s membership in the Rajya Sabha.
The BJD will write to the Rajya Sabha chairperson to treat Mohapatra as a non-BJD member.
Incidentally, the BJD’s executive body did not take any action against two suspended MLAs — Bibhuti Balwantray and Pravat Biswal — who had actively supported Mohapatra during the move to dislodge Naveen. Biswal even shared the dais with the chief minister at a meeting yesterday held in Cuttack.
A party official said that as these leaders had refrained from indulging in any anti-party activities further, the party leadership decided not to act against them. But, they continue to remain suspended.
As soon as the party’s executive body meeting began, Naveen set the mood, stating that no act of indiscipline would be tolerated. “No one is above the party. The party is supreme,” he said.
Naveen said the anti-development forces working against the party and the government should be opposed at all levels. “Many forces are trying to obstruct the state’s development,” he said.
As soon as Naveen concluded his speech, all the five vice-presidents, including Mohapatra’s arch-rival and health minister Damodor Rout, said action should be taken against Mohapatra for his anti-party activities.
Cuttack Sadar MLA Debasis Samantaray moved a resolution, stating that Mohapatra was indulging in anti-party activities by floating a frontal organisation, Odisha Jan Morcha, and recruiting members for the outfit.
Besides, Mohapatra is also collecting money from people in the name of BJD. Taking Mohapatra’s anti-party activities into account, the party should expel him immediately, he said.
Later, Rout said: “There are still many leaders, who believe in the principle of dual loyalty. All should remember that the party has one leader and one ideal. All should be united and strengthen the party.”