BJD MP faces flak

BJD MP from Puri Pinaki Mishra invited criticism from his party colleagues on Sunday for praising Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan at a public event here a day ago.

By SUBRAT DAS in Bhubaneshwar
  • Published 16.10.17
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Bhubaneswar: BJD MP from Puri Pinaki Mishra invited criticism from his party colleagues on Sunday for praising Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan at a public event here a day ago.

"Dharmendra babu's worst critics will also concede one fact that he is exceptionally hard-working and very competent. I don't believe that in the past 40 years there has been a luckier petroleum minister than Dharmendra babu. He has ensured inexplicably, I don't know how, that international crude prices which were $140-160 a barrel in 2014 when he took over, have thereafter languished to about $30-40 a barrel and even fell to as low as $20 a barrel," Mishra had said at a public programme at Janata Maidan.

The praise of Pradhan by Mishra came as a surprise at a time the BJD has toughened its stand against the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre.

The regional party has again started highlighting the Centre's alleged neglect towards Odisha with both gearing up for the 2019 general elections.

"Mishra knows very well the way the Centre is working. Union minister Pradhan is not at all a performing minister as he has pushed the country backwards," said BJD spokesperson and party MLA Debasish Samantaray. "Despite knowing the country's economic condition, false praise about a person is not justified."

BJD vice-president and agriculture minister Damodar Rout said: "Mishra has a history of changing loyalties right from Chandraswamy to J.B. Patnaik. Later, he switched over to Naveen's party. Now, he is praising Pradhan."

Despite several attempts to get his comments, Mishra could not be reached.

BJP state vice-president Samir Mohanty said: "Mishra has told the truth. Unpleasant truth is always bitter."