22 April 2019
Bhubaneswar: Since former Kendrapara MP Baijayant Panda’s ouster from the Biju Janata Dal, speculations were rife on what happened between him and Odisha Chief Minister-cum-BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik that turned their decade-long association sour. After days of speculation, Naveen Patnaik has finally spilled the beans on what led to the animosity between the two and how it all ended.
In an exclusive interview to news agency ANI, Patnaik said:
1) Kendrapara is very precious to me because it was my father’ s constituency. I was very attached to it, so I gave it to Jay Panda thinking that a young man could do a lot about its development. But, he never bothered. A former Railways Minister once laughed and told me “We are pursuing the development of railways in Kendrapara but your Kendrapara MP is only concerned about railway development to his mining companies.” That shocked me.
2) After 2014, a number of friends of mine from New Delhi rang up very concerned, because they thought I was in bad health. But, my health has always been very good and I told them so. Then, they told me that Baijayant Panda was spreading rumors about my health in New Delhi. This too came as a shock for me.
3) Thirdly, he wanted to become the Chairman of the Finance Committee. I did not think it was a good idea because of all the financial dealings of his company. So, I did not support him as he has big political ambitions.
4) Then, he started doing a number of anti-party activities and he was strongly leaning to the BJP. So, that is how it all ended.
On the other, Baijayant Panda has denied all these allegations to the same news agency. It is notable to mention here that Panda had been ousted from the conch party in 2018 for his ‘anti-party activities’. Following this, he joined the saffron party this year and has been fielded as BJP’s MP candidate from Kendrapara Lok Sabha constituency.