Bhubaneswar: The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Wednesday expelled senior BJD leader and former Cabinet minister Damodar Rout from the party.
The party issued a terse letter in the evening, stating that the Paradip MLA has been expelled from the party. “As per the direction of BJD president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Paradip MLA Damodar Rout has been expelled from the BJD,” BJD secretary Bijay Kumar Nayak said in a letter issued to the press.
Though the party has not mentioned any reason behind the removal of Rout, it was clear that his recent controversial statements against party colleagues and on alleged scams in various government departments led to his expulsion.
Rout, who was earlier dropped from the Cabinet and divested of party responsibilities, had made several explosive statements, alleging massive corruption in various government departments that he was holding in the past. He alleged a series of scams such as irregularities of `30 crore in Omfed, `800 crore in OSCB and `100 crore fraud in sapling plantation under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.
The MLA Tuesday dropped another bombshell stating that the BJD is being run by four people- one officer and three MLAs- Arun Sahoo, Bobby (Pranab Prakash Das) and Debasish Samantaray and he does not belong to that BJD.
However, the seven-time MLA Wednesday mounted a damage control exercise, saying he never uttered a word against Patnaik and targeted only corrupt officers.
“I have not said anything against the chief minister. The CM has a lot of exposure as he toured worldwide. He is a good writer and his book has been a best seller. He is also a painter of international repute. He is not part of the allegations which I have made,” he had told reporters. “Some people working under the chief minister are guilty. They are indulging in such activities. Nobody is bringing it to public out of fear. I tried it,” the former minister said referring to alleged corruption he had mentioned.
However, the clarifications did not suffice to cool the tempers in the party, especially the chief minister.