Infighting in the BJD reared its head today with Odisha Jana Morcha founder Pyari Mohan Mohapatra today alleging that his suspension from the party was illegal and its President Naveen Patnaik unfit for the post.
"He has lost the right to remain president of BJD since July 10, 2010 according to the constitution of the party ... He is unfit for the post of president," Mohapatra, who formed the OJM within BJD after being suspended from the party following the May 29 failed coup bid, told reporters here.
Referring to his suspension on June 1, Mohapatra, a Rajya Sabha MP termed it as 'illegal' as per constitution of the party.
"As Patnaik ceased to be president of the party since July 2010, how can he suspend me in June, 2012?" Mohapatra asked stating that he had not received any formal letter from the party on his suspension.
Mohapatra who was dubbed traitor by Patnaik after the May 29 coup attempt, however, said he would talk to the chief minister if he wanted to.
"If he (Patnaik) wants to talk, I will," he said replying a question.
Claiming that the OJM would strive to develop inner party democracy, Mohapatra claimed that he and other members of his platform continued to be part of the ruling party.
"Caucus has developed in the party thereby giving democratic functioning a good bye,"he said.
Mohapatra, who immediately after his suspension in June had claimed that 45 of the 104 BJD MLAs supported him, however, evaded the issue when questioned again.
"It is up to you (media) to guess. I will not speak about any number," he said.
Alleging that there was no political governance in Odisha, the bureaucrat turned politician said "Officers are calling the shots while ministers and politicians have no voice in the government.
"He (Patnaik) is taking administrative decisions on the suggestion of officers," he said.
On the success of the BJD government, Mohapatra said "Only half of the goal has been achieved."
Side-stepping questions on the mining scams and corruption cases allegedly involving him, Mohapatra said "I have already thrown a challenge to the chief minister to recommend a CBI probe against me. But he is not doing anything for over four months."
Claiming that his role in the government and the party was confined to policy decisions, he said "I am a born anti-Congress person.
"I had been a card holder of CPI and worked in different Left organisations before entering into IAS service. How can any one refer to OJM as a B team of Congress," Mohapatra said replying to a question.
Besides Biju Patnaik, Mohapatra said the OJM believed in the ideology of Utkalmani Gopabandhu Dash and Utkal Gourav Madhusudan Das who preached sacrifice and self-respect. "We are also committed to fulfil dreams of Biju Patnaik," he said.