Industrialist-MP Baijayant Panda on January 11 made a scathing attack on chief minister Naveen Patnaik’s most-trusted lieutenant in party and government, without naming him. Though he attacked the IAS officer, it’s obvious his real target is Naveen. Here are the reasons.
1. In a TV interview, Naveen Patnaik for the first time publicly snubbed Baijayant, a four-time MP and BJD’s founder member.
Naveen had rubbished Baijayant’s comment regarding bureaucratic high-handedness in the Naveen dispensation. Baijayant had made such comments in social media and in public meetings in May 2017 and after that.
2. Baijayant, who represents Kendrapada in the Lok Sabha, is moving close to the BJP. The saffron party has emerged as the BJD’s main rival in the state.
By speaking BJP’s language, the BJD veteran made all the right noise in his future party circles.
3. Targeting the third-floor, the chief minister’s office, is considered direct attack on Naveen. It’s the upper limit of tolerance in the BJD.
Baijayant might be aspiring to be thrown out by his party so that he can play victim card, gain sympathy of people and gradually move to the BJP fold.
4. Baijayant’s anti-BJD tirade started after panchayat elections in February in which the BJP did remarkably well. He started by seeking introspection in the ruling regional party.
His continued criticism of BJD and simultaneous praise of Narendra Modi government initiatives created perception of his affinity towards the saffron party.
5. The BJD clipped Baijayant’s wing. After his comment in May 2017 about some bureaucrats controlling party activities from air-conditioned rooms, the BJD removed him as party’s spokesperson.