I Won’t Resign: Baijayant Panda

**Kendrapara: ** After maintaining a studied silence and keeping himself at bay from spewing out controversial statements against his own party and leadership in the wake of his suspension from BJD’s primary membership, Kendrapara MP Baijayant Jay Panda on Saturday once again spit venom on the sidelines of an overhead water tank inaugural function in his parliamentary constituency built from his MPLAD funds.

Panda has invited the BJD supremo’s ire and has borne the brunt of suspension following his caustic comments against the leadership in a round about manner also at such an inaugural function in his parliamentary constituency days ago.

Prior to that, his jibes through media write-ups and tweets had already stirred the hornet’s nest and had put his own party in utter embarrassment paving path for the opposition to point finger at the ruling BJD, its high command and the government.

As BJD in its recent press meet has demanded Jay Panda’s resignation from his Lok Sabha seat close on the heels of the suspension slapped on him, the Kendrapara MP retorted, “My suspension bears not my will. Since the party (BJD)’s initiation, I had been in it for the last 21 years. I had never wished to quit. Publicly I have already stated that conspiracy is being hatched against me and our leader is unable to realize it. Finally, it came out true.”

“Why should I resign? You all heard here today people’s reactions. Lakhs of people of my constituency have elected me. I’m seeking my voters’ opinion on my future step. I’ll ponder over it and look before I leap into my future course of action,” the beleaguered MP vented.

On the recent egg hurling at the dais by a BJP party worker’s wife protesting against Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik while he was addressing the gathering of a beach festival in Bhadrak and the stringent action taken by police, the suspended BJD MP reacted, “I think the mode of protest ought to be non-violent. Such physical protest may prove to be harmful. But, booking her under the IPC section of attempt to murder is something excess.”

“In my case, I was not only hit by egg, but also stone. No action had been taken then for four months. Eventually action was initiated only after an MLA raised the issue in the Assembly. But attempt to murder charge wasn’t preferred by the police against those accused. This is hypocricy. If we condemn egg hurling, it should be applied to all sorts of egg hurling,” Jay Panda fumed.

On the contrary, BJD Mahila Morcha president and party’s Kendrapara observer Pramilla Mallick countered, “No where hooligans have been spared. As action has been taken against the person or persons accused of creating disturbance in Chief Minister’s meeting, same has been taken against those involved in the MP’s case. They all have been arrested.”

“Our party leader has suspended him. Why doesn’t he talk directly to the Chief Minister? Is there any problem in interacting with the Chief Minister instead of resorting to media statements? Let him talk to the Chief Minister one-to-one and explain that he is innocent and delivering pro-people work. Let his clarification be before the Chief Minister. There is no need of media clarifications,” burst the BJD spokesperson.