30 April, Bhubaneswar
With senior Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leaders openly airing their voices against the party’s functioning, Odisha Chief Minister and party chief Naveen Patnaik on Sunday said they should lodge their complaint with him instead of going to media.
“If senior leaders have anything negative to say, they should come to me with their complaints and not go to media,” Patnaik told reporters here.
His statement came in the wake of party MP Bhartruhari Mahtab’s article criticising party leaders for indulging in ‘bayan bazi’ (making statements) while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has begun mobilising cadre at the grassroots level aiming 2019 elections.
“BJP gained in the panchayat polls only due to loss of Congress votes. But, BJD votes also have slashed from 43 per cent to 40 per cent. This has to be admitted and preventive measures must be taken accordingly,” said Mahtab in an article published in an Odia daily that he edits.
Noting some local leaders, who had contested the panchayat elections against the party supported candidates, are not being invited to district-wise review meetings chaired by the BJD President, he asked if such things would lead to an increase or decrease in intra-party squabbles.
Mahatab is not the lone MP who aired his voice in media against the party functioning. Earlier, BJD’s Dhenkanal MP Tathagata Satpathy and Kendrapara MP Baijayant Panda had engaged in a ‘Twitter war’ after the former alleged that the BJP was trying to split his party with the help of another MP.
A day after the Twitter spar, Panda wrote an op-ed in a vernacular newspaper, in which he indirectly attacked Patnaik saying he failed to stem party corruption.