'BJD in the grip of a coterie'

Soon after he quit the Lok Sabha, entrepreneur-turned-politician Baijayant Panda talks to TOI’s Ashok Pradhan about ending his ties with BJD and his long term plans
On his next political transfer

I am nonetheless in the course of deciding on my next plan of action. I was a proud member of BJD right from Day One. Over the previous three or 4 years, issues started going flawed. The party started stepping into a different path underneath the affect of a brand new coterie. It became in opposition to me, sidelined me and went to the extent of sporting out a bodily attack on me. That’s after I thought this used to be the end of the street for me. I time and again appealed to the party president (Naveen Patnaik) to take heed. The final straw used to be when neither Naveen nor any BJD member came to pay their final respects to my father.

On Naveen now not visiting him right through his bereavement

Even if I am the enemy, no one should grasp that in opposition to my father, who used to be a respected figure. Any problem he had with me is a separate issue. I don’t think now not coming to the rituals used to be a non-public choice. When you're the chief of a state, it’s now not non-public.

On how lengthy he would take to come to a decision on his next plan of action

Politics isn't the be-all and end-all. There are many ways to serve the folks. I have the remainder of my life to paintings for the folks in any capacity. As far as politics is worried, that is the most important turning point in my life. I don’t wish to take any casual or hasty choice. I am talking to the folks of Kendrapada (his former constituency) and different portions of the state.

On why he never spoke in opposition to Naveen directly

I thought it mistaken to take action. I didn’t wish to be petty but I must say I am very disappointed, individually. I was physically assaulted and he never referred to as me to inquire about my well being. Everybody saw that rocks and stones had been thrown at me. My shoulder used to be injured and I am nonetheless undergoing remedy. He never troubled to invite about my well-being. On the political front, too, I was disappointed. After the panchayat election, he asked for introspection and I gave my analysis. Instead of giving me a pat on my back, I had stones and bricks thrown at me.

On his targeting a particular IAS officer

I have now not been targeting any IAS officer. I am speaking the reality. In Odisha, there has been an workout of extra-constitutional political authority for the previous 4 years. People didn’t discuss out until I began doing so. Subsequently, half a dozen other folks spoke in contrast chap. It is unconstitutional for a serving IAS officer to be gathering and distributing political budget and party tickets.

On the potential of his returning to BJD if the officer is got rid of

Let me reiterate, this officer isn't the main problem. There are extra critical issues. The BJD has to go back to its founding ideas. Earlier, Naveen babu used to be known for losing ministers at the slightest trace of corruption. In the previous couple of years, no one has been dropped on corruption fees even though some ministers face critical allegations. The new coterie within the party is exercising total keep watch over. Nobody can meet Naveen one-on-one. I concern about him also.

On which method the state will move in 2019

The adage ‘a week is a very long time in politics’ needs to be stored in mind. A lot can trade between now and the elections. Having said that, there is talk about all different parties allying in opposition to the NDA. This is something which must be taken significantly as a result of vote-share concerns. The consequence depends on whether or not such an alliance can also be shaped across the country or handiest in some portions of India. The NDA has a transparent chief within the Prime Minister. The different side has to name somebody similarly ambitious.


How many BJD leaders are with you?


I feel you are asking a political query. I have warm family members with many leaders in BJD as a result of my lengthy associations. I have now not checked out it from political point of view and support. I have made my own choice to not proceed with the BJD for both political and personal causes. Now I have to think my method forward.


Do you foresee another BJD chief following your footsteps?


How many people will take a stand on moral and ethical grounds, I can’t estimate. I took my stand as a result of BJD had turn out to be very different from what it started out with. But there are lot of rumblings internally and at some point it's going to come to a boil.
'BJD in the grip of a coterie' 'BJD in the grip of a coterie' Reviewed by kailash soni on June 13, 2018 Rating: 5
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