Bhubaneswar: Disgruntled BJD stalwart,
Damodar Rout, who was dropped from the Naveen Patnaik cabinet
in May for objecting to `a second power centre` in Orissa on Tuesday floated a `non-political` platform within the party.
Launching the `Biju Bichar Manch (BBM)` ostensibly to
spread the ideology of legendary Biju Patnaik in whose name
the Bjiu Janata Dal was formed, Rout, the BJD Vice-President
asked the chief minister to take full command instead of
delegating authority to a `second power centre`.
Rout, who was opposed to BJD Rajya Sabha MP Pyari
Mohan Mohapatra, considered a strategist for the chief
minister, asked Patnaik "not to delegate authority to a second
After being dropped on May 9 this year from the
ministry, he had claimed that it was not the decision of the
chief minister, but at the suggestion of `someone`, without
naming the Rajya Sabha MP.
Rout had invited all in the ruling BJD including the
chief minister save Mohapatra to the launch of the BBM , but
mostly none turned up.
Stating that he had no political ambition left after
being MLA six times and a minister for over 12 years, he said,
"Formation of BBM should not be considered as a political plan
to acquire power."
Asked about the role of BBM in the ensuing panchayat
elections due early next year, Rout said people would be asked
to vote for honest persons who would look after their needs.
Claiming that Biju loyalists were sidelined, Rout
lamented that bitter critics of the legendary leader were
prospering in the party and government.
"The ideology of Biju Patnaik is being ignored in the
party and government," he said.
Criticising Rout, Agriculture minister Pradeep
Maharathy said "he has launched the BBM to fulfil his one
Forest and Environment minister Debi Prasad Mishra
preferred not to comment.