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BJD suspends Baijayant Jay Panda for 'anti-party activities'

Jay Panda is a member of the Lok Sabha representing the Kendrapara constituency.  

BJD suspends Baijayant Jay Panda for 'anti-party activities'
File photo (ANI)

Bhubaneswar: Kendrapara MP Baijayant Jay Panda was suspended from the primary membership of the  Biju Janata Dal with immediate effect on Wednesday on grounds of 'anti-party activities'.

Earlier, in 2017, he had been removed as the party's parliamentary party spokesperson after he had written an article criticising the BJD leadership after the rural body polls.

Reacting to the development, Panda tweeted, "I'm shocked at this news. Very very sad that didn't see through the conspiracy against me led by an IAS officer now controlling the party. I vehemently deny the allegations against me, they are entirely false and baseless."

As per DNA, 'monopolistic utilisation' of MPLAD funds is another charge against the Kendrapara MP. He had faced protests from BJD workers in May 2017 in Kendrapara.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is said to have asked party observers to probe complaints against Panda. On the other hand, the Kendrapara MP had blamed an officer in CM's office for the campaign against him.

Panda had taken to social media to make his points after and had written on Facebook - "The ongoing farcical complaints against me by block and district level BJD office-bearers is an orchestrated campaign conducted by the bureaucrat-cum-politician who has gained nearly total control over our party."

On the other hand, the BJD district and block level officer bearers had alleged that Panda was not keeping in touch with them. They had also alleged that the MP had ignored party people while undertaking developmental activities under the MPLAD scheme.

Party leaders and workers from Nischintakoeli, Marshaghai, Mahakalpada, Salepur and Kendrapara blocks are said to have lodged complaints against him before the BJD president.

However, Panda, displaying some pictures in his Facebook where some of the 'complainants' were with him at different functions, had written - "These pictures show that not only have I kept in touch with party members, but have also actively involved them in my reviews and inaugurations of infrastructure projects, both MPLAD and others."

He had further said, "Rather than being angry, I'm just laughing at this hypocrisy, because these poor guys are under immense pressure, getting calls from officials in the CM's office that they will lose their party posts and not get tickets in future if they displease the babu-politician who is now controlling things. Of course, a serving bureaucrat being actively involved in politics is 'strictly' forbidden in the service code. I don't think this chap particularly cares about law and rules, but sooner or later karma has a way of catching up with your misdeeds."

(With DNA inputs)