Bhubaneswar: In a show of strength on his return from a cut-short visit to London following speculation about a revolt in ruling BJD, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday night held a meeting with party leaders and said an appropriate decision would be taken at the right time on alleged dissidence.
"I will be meeting our MLAs, MPs and consult senior leaders tomorrow morning to discuss various matters. (The) Right decision will be taken at the right time (on events that occurred in his absence)," Patnaik told reporters following a meeting with party leaders after he cut short his London visit by a day.
"I came back one day earlier to our state because I understand from sources about a couple of days ago that some events had taken place here," the BJD supremo said apparently referring to a meeting of some 33 MLAs held at the house of party MP Pyari Mohan Mohapatra on Tuesday night.
The meeting, held in the absence of Patnaik, had triggered speculation about cracks and a possible revolt in the ruling BJD though Mohapatra on Wednesday ruled out any threat to Naveen government from him.
On whether disciplinary action would be taken with regard to the meeting at Mohapatra`s house, Patnaik said "the right decision will be taken at right time."
Patnaik, who returned here to a rousing welcome by partymen, said "I really appreciate that our party MLAs, ministers for being with me here ... And certainly I am very emotionally touched and moved by the fantastic reception I have received from my brothers and sisters."
While around 95 of the 104 BJD MLAs were present at Naveen Niwas to express their support for the chief minister, five members including three ministers - Sharada Nayak, Anjali Behera and Sanjeev Sahoo - were conspicuous by their absence. They were present at the meeting held in Mohapatra`s house.
Mohapatra, who had fuelled speculation about division in the ruling BJD by holding the meeting on Tuesday night, was also conspicuous by his absence at the airport as well as Naveen Niwas during Patnaik`s return.
The Rajya Sabha MP, who admitted on Wednesday having differences with the chief minister while ruling out any move to stage a revolt, has since been lying low.
Incidentally, Patnaik had called Mohapatra from abroad on Tuesday night and enquired about MLAs assembling at his Saheed Nagar residence at a time when he (Naveen) was away from the country.
Before speaking to Mohapatra, the chief minister in a statement in London had deplored alleged attempts to divide the party.
Patnaik, after his return from London earlier in the day had said in Delhi that he would consult party members after reaching Bhubaneswar about the developments that took place in his absence.
"I will certainly see what has to be done," he said.
Soon after his arrival at Biju Patnaik airport on Thursday evening, Patnaik was given a rousing welcome by ministers, MLAs and supporters in a public show of strength to dispel speculation about cracks in the ruling BJD.
Patnaik was greeted by ministers Prafulla Ghadai, Raghunath Mohanty and D P Mishra among others and leaders with bouquets and garlands.
A large number of partymen carrying placards and banners stormed the airport premises breaking the security cordon and shouted `Naveen Patnaik Zindabad` and `Naveen is our leader`.
Patnaik smiled and shook hands and waved to the people before setting out in a huge procession to his residence, Naveen Niwas.
The entire route leading from Biju Patnaik airport to Naveen Niwas was thronged with BJD workers as well as common people who burst crackers and beat drums.
The show of strength was on display apparently to allay fear of any threat to Patnaik`s position as chief minister and BJD chief after activities at powerful party MP Mohapatra`s house sparked speculation of cracks in the regional party.