Bhubaneswar: Internal feud in Odisha's ruling BJD came to the fore today when the party's Lok Sabha MP Baijayanta Panda faced opposition reportedly from supporters of former health minister and party MLA Atanu S Nayak at a public meeting in Kendrapara.
Chief Minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik was present at the meeting in Mahakalpada, the Assembly constituency represented by Nayak.
Patnaik was in Kendrapara district, where he inaugurated several projects and laid foundation stones for some others.
When Panda, who is the MP from Kendrapara, reached the venue, a large number people, reportedly supporters of Nayak, raised slogans against him.
"Attended Mahakalpada public event with CM. As expected, a handful of planted ppl raised slogans against me vs. thousands in favor of me," Panda tweeted.
Earlier in the day, he had allegedly received a threat asking him not to attend the meeting.
"Associates of a colleague who recently resigned on moral grounds threatening me against participation today in a Mahakalpada event w/CM," Panda tweeted earlier in the day.
"No one can stop me from visiting Mahakalpada. I will do it as earlier. The people have greeted me, though a handful of people opposed me," he added.
Denying Panda's charges, Nayak said, "I do not know who opposed whom. I do not know if anyone has any resentment against any person. All present at the meeting were supporters of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. There are no my or his (Panda's) supporters but everyone here is supporters of Patnaik."
BJD vice-president and minister Damodar Rout dubbed the incident as "most unfortunate" and said, "Protesting against the MP at the behest of someone is a very unfortunate incident. Police should not dance to somebody's tune."
Panda's supporters staged a demonstration near Raj Bhavan here and demanded action against Nayak for allegedly engineering the protest.
Sources in BJD said Panda and Nayak are opposed to each other since long. It has intensified after the Mahakalpada MLA resigned from the council of ministers in the aftermath of the fire tragedy at a private hospital in Bhubaneswar.