23 December 2017
Bhubaneswar: A day after his apparently embarrassing dismissal from Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s Council of Ministers, former Agriculture Minister and ruling BJD vice-president Damodar Rout on Saturday told media that he has no regrets over such a development as he has been voted by the people as an MLA, not as a minister.
In his media reactions on Friday evening’s sudden dismissal from his ministerial berth, the seasoned politician said, “There is a saying: victory and defeat is a normal process of electoral politics. Similar is the case with power politics, either being in power or out of power. Hence, I’m least bothered about my dismissal from the Council of Ministers. I needn’t even wish to react to it. Whatever had to happen, has happened.”
Elucidating further he argued, “In a democracy, one becomes a minister at the pleasure of the Chief Minister. Whom the Chief Minister feels confident of, the elected party person is made a minister. When that confidence and trust ends, that person is sacked from the ministerial portfolio. It is quite natural and nothing surprising. Thus, there’s nothing to comment on it.”
Being further prodded by media, pat came the reply, “No regrets! I’m in public life for the last 40 years and also continue to remain so till my death. People have elected me to the Legislative Assembly as an MLA. They didn’t me vote me to become a minister. As the people have voted me, I’m accountable to them and serve them. Hence, being a minister or not is insignificant.”
On being queried if he would now revive and rejuvenate his floated political outfit Biju Bichar Manch now, the loyal lieutenant of legendary Biju Patnaik outpoured, “I have been an astute follower of Biju Babu and his ideology. It is my purely personal feelings and experience. I don’t think it wise to propagate through media. As you know, I was, am and will be Biju Babu’s staunch follower.”