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Naveen Patnaik Sacks Damodar Rout Also From BJD Party Posts

23 December 2017

Soumya Ranjan Sahoo

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Bhubaneswar: Close on the heels of dismissing him from the Council of Ministers on Friday evening for his ‘controversial’ and ‘derogatory remarks’, BJD supremo and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday evening has cut further Damodar Rout’s wings by divesting him from the party’s vice-president post as well as from the post of Dhenkanal district observer.

“The President Biju Janata Dal, Shri Naveen Patnaik has been pleased to relieve Dr Damodar Rout from the post of Vice-President, Biju Janta Dal as well as from the post of Observer of Dhenkanal District with immediate effect,” a press release issued by BJD vice-president Usha Devi on behalf of the ruling party said.

On Friday evening, Naveen Patnaik while announcing the dismissal news had told media, “I strongly disapprove of anyone who makes derogatory remarks against any caste, creed and religion. I dismiss Dr Rout from the Council of Ministers. A letter has been sent this evening to the Honourable Governor to accept this dismissal.”

While Rout is known for his impromptu remarks on several issues, according to sources his recent opinion-making on Brahmins, Anganwadi workers and Farmer issues, put the Naveen Government in an embarrassing situation.

A few days back, Rout at a cultural meeting in Malkangiri addressed Brahmins are ‘beggars.’ The statement evoked sharp reactions from all sections of the society. Puri Jagannath Temple Mukti Mandap Brahmins Samaj had urged the Chief Minister to intervene and take strict action against Rout.

As the ‘Brahmin-beggar’ jibe of Rout has stirred the hornet’s nest, especially in Puri, and BJD is going to organise its 20th Foundation Day in the pilgrim city on December 26, Naveen has taken strong exception of the remarks and is trying to do damage control of the whole issue and sending a tough message against any sort of indiscipline in the party maligning his as well as the ruling party’s image.

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Damodar Rout, Senior BJD Leader

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Prasant Nanda, Spokesperson, BJD, Odisha