Tathagata may have quit over rivalry

Tathagata may have quit over rivalry

Four-time BJD Lok Sabha MP Tathagata Satpathy was not feeling comfortable in the party after the entry of his long-time media and political rival Soumya Ranjan Patnaik into the BJD.

This may have led the senior leader to quit party politics, BJD sources said on Wednesday.

Satpathy, the sitting MP from coastal Odisha Dhenkanal Lok Sabha constituency, had announced that he will quit politics on Tuesday to concentrate on "fearless journalism".

The BJD high command had roped in Soumya Ranjan into the party a year back. He was rewarded with a Rajya Sabha berth the day he joined the regional outfit. This had not gone well with a section of the party.

The Bhubaneswar-based media houses owned by Tathagata and Soumya Ranjan have long been arch rivals.

Ranjan's media empire runs Sambad, a daily Odia newspaper; Kanak TV, an Odia TV news channel; and Radio Chocolate, a private FM radio station.

Tathagata's media house runs Dharitri and Orissa Post, which are daily newspapers in Odia and English, respectively. Both edit their respective newspapers.

The political background of both journalist-politicians is interesting.

While Soumya Ranjan is the son-in-law of Congress' three-time chief minister the late J B Patnaik, Tathagata is the son of another former Congress chief minister the late Nandini Satpathy.

Patnaik and Satpathy were also rivals in the state Congress in their time.

Tathagata had inherited his media house from his parents. His father Debendra Satpathy was also an MP.

Ranjan, on the other hand, had set up his media empire in the early 1980s, when his father-in-law was the chief minister.

Ranjan was once elected to the Lok Sabha from the prestigious Bhubaneswar constituency on a Congress ticket.

He was suspended from the party a few years back for anti-party activities. His brother, Niranjan Patnaik, an ex-minister, currently heads the Pradesh Congress Committee(PCC). Ranjan had floated a regional outfit of his own before joining the BJD.

Tathagata, on theother handd, had never joined his mother’s party, the Congress.

He was an MLA of the undivided Janata Dal when BJD founder the late Biju Patnaik was the chief minister between 1990 and 1995.

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