Dissident leader upset but rules out split in BJD
Grievances in Odisha's Biju Janata Dal (BJD) have increased but there are no plans for a split, senior leader Pyarimohan Mohapatra said Wednesday amid speculation that the Naveen Patnaik government could be facing dissent for the first time in 12 years.
Venting his ire, the Rajya Sabha MP, who Tuesday night held a meeting with a large number of legislators at his residence, said people were unhappy within the party.
He said party members who had met him said they were unhappy because bureaucrats were not listening to them. He also said some ministers had told him that their secretaries were ignoring them.
Mohapatra, 72, did not name Patnaik but said people with vested interests were trying to create indiscipline in the party and were not being checked despite repeated reminders.
"For one-and-a-half years I have been pointing out indiscipline in the party but no action was taken," he said.
He denied speculation that he planned to dethrone Patnaik.
Despite the denial, Mohapatra has been accused by some in the party of attempting to destabilize Patnaik. Tuesday night's meeting is being seen by many as a sign of revolt in the ruling party.
A large number of legislators of the same party, including some ministers, also held similar meetings in different places in support of Mohapatra. These meetings ran till late after midnight.
Mohapatra has been chief advisor to Patnaik for the past decade and appears to be unhappy after he was sidelined in recent months.
As a bureaucrat, the Left-leaning Mohapatra had served Biju Patnaik - Naveen Patnaik's legendary father - when he was chief minister.
The 1963 batch IAS officer's involvement in politics began when Patnaik senior appointed him principal secretary during his tenure as chief minister in 1990-95.
Mohapatra had been a guide to Patnaik junior after the demise of Biju Patnaik in 1997.