Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.
Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan today alleged that corruption was rampant in BJD-ruled Odisha and said voters would dump it in the Bay of Bengal in next elections. “The BJD government is neck-deep in corruption and people are all set to dump the regional party in the Bay of Bengal as they have come to realise it,” the petroleum minister who joined a road-show and a BJP-sponsored ‘Mishrana Parva’ said here. Ahead of the ‘Mishrana Parva’ meet, unknown people vandalised posters and hoardings of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Dhramendra Pradhan along the main road of this district headquarters town.
Referring to scandals like alleged mining scam and “manipulation” in NFSA cards, Pradhan said BJD had mastered the manipulative skill of hijacking Central schemes. The ‘Mishrana Parva’ was marked by two former MLAs from Kendrapara district – Utkal Keshari Parida and Dolagobind Nayak – joining the BJP. The event sparked a political storm with party bigwigs ignoring senior BJP leader Bijoy Mahapatra in his home turf despite the party’s impressive show in February panchayat polls. “I was not consulted on the Kendrapara meeting. I was also not invited. So I decided to skip the event. My supporters also stayed away from the meeting,” he said. When asked on the sidelining of Mahapatra, Pradhan declined to comment.
On June 8, intra-party wrangling in the BJP came to fore as nearly 3,000 party cadres held a rally to register protest against alleged sidelining of BJP national executive body member Mahapatra. Incidentally, BJP district unit president Sukant Dwivedy skipped the event along with many grass root BJP cadres who owed allegiance to Mahapatra.
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“Bijoy babu worked hard to boost BJP in Kendrapara. But he is being shabbily treated by the party. BJP fought panchayat polls under his stewardship and performed well by winning ten zilla parshad seats while the tally was one in 2012 panchayat polls,” said a zilla parishad member Ganesh Chandra Samal.