Paradip: While the tussle between former BJD veteran Damodar Rout and then Jagatsinghpur district president of BJD Bishnu Das has cooled off with Rout’s ouster from the party, a cold war is said to have started between Rout’s son and newly elected Paradip MLA Sambit Routray and local municipality chairman Basant Biswal.
This has resulted in cancellation of inaugural ceremony of the rest shed and toilet at the bus stand that was originally scheduled to be held June 14. With the two leaders locking horns, the plaque put up on the wall of the bus stand rest shed for inauguration of the facilities has recently been removed, sources said.
Reports of this rift are widely being covered by social media by several BJD workers apart from getting mentions in mainstream media.
According to sources, the municipality started the construction of the bus stand’s rest shed at a cost of over Rs 10 lakh last year. The building was scheduled to be inaugurated in January last year but was postponed as the general election was round the corner. Later, the inauguration date was revised to June 14 — the first day of Raja festival. A plaque bearing the names of guests was also put up on the wall.
The plaque had names of port chairman Rinkesh Roy as guest of honour, additional district magistrate Kanhu Charan Dhir, additional superintendent of police Bishnu Charan Mishra as inaugurators. Below their names were municipality chairman Basant Biswal, vice chairman Prabhati Nayak, executive officer Dillip Kumar Mohanty and councilor of ward no 15 Manas Biswal.
It, however, had no mention of Sambit for which he and his followers allegedly expressed their concern and opposed to not mentioning the newly elected MLA’s name on the plaque.
Apprehending trouble, the civic authority cancelled the inaugural ceremony and removed the plaque.
When contacted, municipality chairman Biswal said the port chairman had been made chief guest as the port authority would supply electricity and water to the rest shed. The port chairman has already inaugurated many projects earlier. There is a three crore project for the MLA to inaugurate so I fail to understand why the MLA and his supporters are opposing to it, Biswal said.
In his reaction, Sambit said he has not opposed the move. “I don’t know if someone had said to anyone on my behalf. I have been away for a week now,” Sambit added.
According to some political observers, the seeds of the conflict between the two leaders were sown in the run up to the polls.
Basant Biswal had been known as one of the close aides of Damodar Rout. But he chose to remain with the party even after Rout was ousted from BJD hoping to get the ticket for Paradip constituency. But Rout’s son Sambit was picked up, instead.
The next political course of Paradip is getting complex, for sure.