Furore Within BJD Over Pinaki’s Praise For Dharmendra Pradhan

**Bhubaneswar: ** A day after BJD’s Puri MP Pinaki Mishra praised rival BJP’s Odisha poster boy Dharmendra Pradhan at a public function, senior leaders of the ruling party criticised the MP in a unanimous voice.

Gracing Central Government’s MUDRA promotion campaign on Saturday, Mishra had said, “Dharmendra Babu’s worst critics, very few critics in fairness, will also concede one fact that he is exceptionally hardworking and very competent.”

Reacting to the statement, Party MLA Debashish Samantaray on Sunday condemned Mishra’s remark and termed it as ‘anti-party’.

“Keeping in view the increasing prices of petroleum products, I can say that Union Minister Pradhan is not at all performing well. Such false praise about a person is not justified,” he said.

Senior BJD leader and Odisha Agriculture Minister Damodar Rout also took pot shots at the lawyer-turned-politician, questioning his intention behind the statement.

He said, “Once Pinaki Mishra expressed his admiration for controversial self-styled godman Chandraswami, Congress leader Indira Gandhi and Sanjay Gandhi. He only knows why he praises someone.”

Similarly, Odisha State Planning Board Vice Chairman and senior BJD leader Bishnu Charan Das also said that praising BJD’s rival is “not right.”