BJD president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Tuesday expels former block president Radheshyam Mohapatra and four others from the party for ‘anti-party activities’

Bhubaneswar: The delay in notification of a date for the Bijepur assembly by-poll has made the run-up to the election all the more intriguing.
In a fresh turn of events ahead of the by-poll, BJD supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Tuesday expelled former Bijepur block president Radheshyam Mohapatra. The latter had resigned from his post Monday alleging negligence by the party towards oldtimers. Four others – Lalit Padhi, Ramchandani Meher, Madhu Khamari and Gourahari Seth – were also expelled from the party.
Mohapatra had alleged that BJD neglected its old hands while Congress workers, who joined the ruling party in recent times, got more importance. Mohapatra, however, clarified that he would continue to work for the BJD.
BJD general secretary Bijay Nayak, who issued a statement to media Tuesday evening, said Mohapatra and four others from Bijepur assembly segment have been expelled by the BJD supremo for indulging in anti-party activities.
Interestingly, Patnaik’s move came two days after BJP’s former Bargarh district president Narayan Sahu had joined BJD.
Sources said a possible entry by these expelled leaders in a rival camp may add to the discomfort of the ruling party even though many believe their exit may not affect the poll prospect of the ruling party.
Ever since the ruling party picked Rita Sahu, spouse of Subal Sahu, to replace her husband, the assembly segment has not only turned into a cauldron of political activities, it has also unleashed a political slugfest among parties.
Unsatisfied with the selection of Rita as BJD’s candidate for the by-poll, former Bijepur MLA and BJD leader Ashok Panigrahi joined BJP last month and is likely to get the saffron ticket.
Unhappy with this move, BJP leader Narayan Sahu met Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik November 21 and expressed his desire to join the BJD. He joined the ruling party formally last Sunday.
The Bijepur politics, which is getting murkier with each passing day, entered the State Assembly Tuesday when BJP members alleged lack of budget provision for the Gangadhar Meher Canal System announced by the state government for the poll-bound constituency and stalled the assembly proceedings.
Amid the hue and cry, the Congress which held the constituency for past three terms seems lagging behind its political rivals. The party seems to be struggling to find a face for the constituency.
After Congress MLA Subal Sahu’s demise August 22 this year, the by-poll became imminent. However, the notification for the poll is yet to be issued. It is expected that the poll date may be declared by the Election Commission by this month end.

Sudarsan Maharana

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