OJM seems to be ‘B’ team of Congress: Naveen Patnaik



Bhubaneswar: A day after suspended BJD leader Pyari Mohan Mohapatra announced formation of Odisha Jana Morcha (OJM) within the party, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday said it appeared to be a "B" team of Congress which would have little impact on the people.

"It (OJM) seems to be a 'B' team of the Congress party," said Patnaik, who is President of the ruling BJD, while reacting to the move by Mohapatra, suspended from the regional party four months ago for allegedly engineering a coup bid against' him.

"I think the morcha will not have any effect on the people of Odisha," the chief minister told reporters on the sideline of a function at Cuttack.

Reacting sharply to the BJD chief's comments, Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) President Niranjan Patnaik said, "Congress has only one team. We have no A, B or C team."

Stating that Congress was not banking on the problems and weaknesses in BJD, he said Naveen Patnaik seems to be scared over the growth of Congress in the state.

The senior BJP leader Bijay Mohapatra, however, said that the creation of the Morcha and a Front, will certainly have its impact on the state politics. It may be temporary, Mohapatra said adding that infighting within any political party will always have its impact.

Meanwhile, another political party titled- Biju Swabhiman Dal (BSD)- was formed in the state. The new outfit came to the fore a day after Mohapatra announced formation of Odisha Jana Moracha (OJM) and creation of Odisha Jana Samukshya (OJS) comprising 12 fringe political outfits.

"The objective of the BSD is to fulfil the dreams of legendary Biju Patnaik and carry forward the Odia pride," said BSD convenor Paramananda Jotish.

Alleging that Biju Patnaik's ideology was not being reflected in any political party including the ruling BJD, Jotish said if BSD candidates win in the assembly and Parliament elections, they will donate 25 per cent of their allowances to set up a Biju Assistance Fund.

"This fund will be meant for poor and weaker section," Jotish told reporters adding that BSD would field candidates in both assembly and Parliament elections.

Mohapatra, who was suspended from the party on charge of an attempted coup bid, had already claimed that OJM was not a political outfit but a front to bring reforms in the regional party.

PTI