New Delhi: Suspended from the BJD, dissident leader and Rajya Sabha MP Pyari Mohan Mohapatra on Friday lashed out Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik calling him a "traitor".
"The entire party has been built by my hard labour and this man (Patanaik) has turned out to be traitor," Mohapatra told reporters, but ruled out a split in the party.
Cracking the whip in a bid to check dissidence in ruling BJD, Patnaik today suspended Mohapatra from the party and sacked two of his ministers from the government.
Venting his anger, Mohapatra, a bureaucrat-turned key strategist and an adviser to Patnaik for over a decade said, "I am shocked but not surprised. Because Patnaik has been planning for the last three months. This was after he saw my popularity in the panchayat elections and before that in the by-elections in the state assembly."
Asked whether he would create a division in the party, he said "(there is) no question of my breaking the party. The entire party has been built by my hard labour... Labour of lakhs of my workers. I have been running the party for so many years."
The sacked ministers are Anjali Behera, Cabinet minister in charge of Women and Child Development, and Minister of Commerce and Transport Sanjiv Sahu.
"This gentleman (Patnaik) turned out to be traitor. People of Odisha know it," Mohaptra said and added, "There are some people around him who have captured him and now he is on the evil path."