PURI: 'Shocked' over allegations of drawing a salary as the vice-chairman of a mining company, suspended Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MP Bijayant Panda termed the allegations against him as "utterly false".
"I am shocked after my suspension my colleagues found all faults with me which they never did in two decades. The allegations are utterly false. The only fault I had was speaking the truth. Everyone knows who hijacked the party. Had Biju babu been alive he would have appreciated it," he said.
His statement comes after the BJD demanded Panda's resignation from the Lok Sabha on allegations that he did disclose that he was drawing a salary as the vice-chairman of a mining company - Indian Metals and Ferro Alloys Limited (IMFA).
BJD President and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had suspended Panda from the primary membership of the party on January 24 with immediate effect for 'anti-party activities'.
Patnaik had said that Panda's conduct during the Panchayat Raj Institutions (PRI) elections was against the interests of the BJD.
BJD leader Sasmit Patra said: "As a Vice Chairman of IMFA Company, he has been drawing salary but it is not reflected in his election affidavit. It a question of moral integrity and BJD workers from Kendrapara demand that he should resign as an MP from Kendrapara."
In May 2017, he was sacked from the post of BJD spokesperson after he criticised the party and had a Twitter spat with party colleague Tathagat Satpathy.