Odisha: Rebel BJD MP Pyarimohan Mohapatra Expelled

Rebel leader and Rajya Sabha BJD MP Pyarimohan Mohapatra, who was suspended from the party six months ago for attempting a coup against the Naveen Patnaik government, was today expelled for anti-party activities.

The decision to expel Mohapatra, who had floated the Odisha Jana Morcha (OJM) within the BJD, and his close aide Jagneswar Babu was announced by BJD President and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik after a meeting of the party state executive committee.

"A decision was taken at the executive committee meeting that Sri Pyari Mohan Mohapatra and Jagneswar Babu are expelled and removed from the party," Patnaik told reporters.

It was also decided that the decision on expulsion would be communicated to the Rajya Sabha and Mohapatra would be asked to resign as he was elected to the upper house of Parliament as a BJD nominee.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kalpataru Das and Revenue Minister S N Patro said before expelling Mohapatra for directly or indirectly causing damage to the party, the executive committee ratified his suspension from the BJD.

Mohapatra was expelled as he was continuing anti-party activities, indiscipline and collecting funds and enrolling members for the OJM floated by him even after his suspension, Das and Patro said.

Reacting to his expulsion, Mohapatra said, "I was expecting it. Now I will approach the 27 lakh party workers and people of Odisha."

Accusing the chief minister of making BJD and the party constitution defunct, Mohapatra said his battle would continue.

His expulsion came nearly six months after he was suspended from BJD for attempting a coup against the Naveen Patnaik government on May 29 when the chief minister was away in the UK.

Later, talking to PTI, Mohapatra said "Why should I resign from the Rajya Sabha when the expulsion is not valid as per the BJD constitution? Expulsion from the party is not a criteria for disqualification of a member of the Parliament."

Claiming that he continued to remain a member of the BJD he argued that the state executive was held after two years and 10 months while the party constitution laid down that such meetings every six months.

Therefore, according to him, the BJD chief had lost the authority to convene a meeting of the state executive.

"Neither Patnaik nor the state executive have any authority to expel me or any other member of the party," Mohapatra claimed.

Asked about his next course of action, Mohapatra said he would seek justice from the people's court instead of a court of law.

"There are 27 lakh workers of the party of which 20 lakh are dissidents. I will approach them to revolt against Patnaik," he said.

Mohapatra, who had resigned as the BJD leader in Rajya Sabha immediately after he was suspended from the party on June 1, justified his previous action saying, "Since I was not in direct contact with Patnaik, it was not right to continue as the leader of BJD in the Rajya Sabha."

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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