Bhubaneswar: Triggering dissidence in the ruling BJD in Odisha, powerful party MP Pyari Mohan Mohapatra on Wednesday issued a veiled warning to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and attacked his style of functioning.
Once the chief adviser and strategist of the ruling BJD, Mohapatra, who held talks with 33 BJD MLAs including three ministers last night which gave rise to the speculation, however, ruled out any plans for toppling the government.
"If ministers and MLAs are ignored in the government, how can they work with pride and lead teams in their constituencies?
"In political governance, ministers are the government. However, that is not happening here," Mohapatra, who retired as an IAS officer in 1998 and entered politics in 1999, told reporters here.
"I have discussed this issue with the chief minister in the past. On my suggestions, the chief minister for some time gave importance to ministers. However, his old tendency of giving importance to bureaucrats, was repeated," he said.
He said the chief minister`s lack of control over the bureaucracy was causing pain among ministers and MLAs. "There are more complexities in administration than in politics." Mohapatra, however, said, "There is absolutely no threat to Naveen Patnaik from me. He is completely safe as chief minister as he is the leader of the BJD."
"Had I wanted to become chief minister I could have tried long ago instead of waiting for so many years ... I could have tried in 2009 also," he said.
He said Patnaik had called him up last night from London and enquired about several legislators gathering at his house to which he explained that there was no formal meeting, with some MLAs only discussing their grievances and party matters.
Referring to the chief minister`s reported remark deploring last night`s developments, he said Patnaik`s comment was a result of `misleading` information given to him by some party leaders, who also held a meeting at Naveen Niwas as a `panic reaction` late last night.
Patnaik had last night deplored the attempts to divide the party.