**Bhubaneswar: ** As ruling BJD’s senior MP Tathagata Satpathy’s accusation and jibe at some of his own party leaders dubbing them as ‘thieves’ has stirred a hornet nest in Odisha’s political firmament, opposition on Thursday raised a million dollar question: Who are the thieves in BJD?
Convening a press meet on the day, Odisha unit BJP vice-president Sameer Mohanty said, “Tathagata Babu yesterday revealed that Naveen Babu has hounded out five ‘corrupt ministers’. He has named only Debi Mishra. Even though he has not named the other four ministers, the people of Odisha very well know. However, the Chief Minister should make it clear that for what theft the ministers have been shunted out?”
Congress chief whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati in his media reactions said, “I can’t accept Debi Babu’s case at any cost. He is my friend. I’m ignorant if he is thief or not. During the recent reshuffle, some ministers were ‘thieves’ (corrupt) while some others were ‘clean’. As some corrupt ministers have been sacked, it augurs well for the State and its people. There are still some more corrupt ministers in the present cabinet. Hence, BJD has been thieving for the last 17 years. Whatever Tathagata Babu has uttered is good. Even some BJD MLAs and party workers still rule the roost in the rural belt and resorting to plunder.”
On the contrary, Odisha Revenue & Disaster Management Minister Maheswar Mohanty said, “It’s his (Tathagata Satpathy’s) personal comment not of the party. Better enquire from him.”
BJD spokesperson and former minister Prasanta Nanda also said, “It’s his personal opinion and he would better know under what circumstance he has uttered like this and hinted at whom. By the way, he has not told the right thing. We do not second him.”
Another BJD spokesperson Sameer Dash said, “Hon’ble Chief Minister has already made it clear that for the sake of strengthening party organisation, many earlier ministers have been dropped during the recent reshuffle and being entrusted with the political job instead. Once the party president has clarified on the issue, it doesn’t hold water who passes remarks on the whole exercise and raises question on the rationale behind it.”
Notably, the senior BJD parliamentarian from Dhenkanal constituency on Wednesday caused a flutter in political circles by outrightly accusing the Congress and BJP to be parties of thieves and has also simultaneously termed some members of his own BJD party to be thieves.
While addressing a meeting organised at Pousa Mahotsav at Jhadabandha in Hindol under his own Dhenkanal parliamentary constituency on Wednesday, Tathagata said, “I’m not siding with any party. The Congress party members are thieves, the BJP party members are competing with them as thieves, We, as a party, are no less. Naveen Babu ousted some of the thieves recently like Debi Mishra. But what can the party supremo do. If he sacks the thieves, more than half of the party members will be out,” goes the scathy remarks of the BJD MP.
He has even named former minster and incumbent BJD vice-president Debi Prasad Mishra for which BJD supremo and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has sought an explanation from Tathagata besides sharply reacting to his outrageous remarks.
Naveen’s media reactions came soon after Debi Prasad Mishra on the day met the party supremo regarding the explosive and defamatory versions given by Tathagat Satpathy.