Ahead of rally, rebel BJD leader's car damaged
Bhubaneswar: Unknown miscreants on Saturday allegedly stoned and damaged a car belonging to rebel Biju Janata Dal leader Pyari Mohan Mohapatra in Odisha. The incident occurred a day before the dissident leader was to lead a rally here against Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, police said.
The miscreants allegedly stoned the car which was parked in the portico of Mohapatra's house at Sahid Nagar in state capital Bhubaneswar late Friday night. The back and front glasses of the car were broken.
While Mohapatra said the act could be the handiwork of supporters of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, state Panchayati Raj Minister and senior BJD leader Kalpataru Das denied the allegation.
"Patnaik is afraid of the rally. He is illegally taking repressive measures to foil the rally," Mohapatra said.
"The allegation is false," senior BJD leader Kalpataru Das retorted.
Mohapatra, a Rajya Sabha member was Patnaik's non-official advisor for over a decade. He was suspended from the party after he allegedly plotted an unsuccessful coup to unseat the chief minister on May 29.
Challenging Patnaik's leadership, Mohapatra subsequently launched Odisha Jana Morcha (OJM), a political forum, saying that he wants to "establish internal democracy" in the state's ruling party. The Odisha Jana Morcha will hold its first rally in the state capital Sunday.
In the meanwhile, hundreds of BJD women activists staged demonstrations near the OJM office Saturday and burnt an effigy of Mohapatra, demanding his resignation from the Rajya Sabha as he has been suspended from the party.