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Ending all speculation, the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Friday expelled the rebel leader and Rajya Sabha member Pyarimohan Mohapatra from the primary membership of the party for anti-party activities.
The state executive of the BJD, which met here after a gap of nearly three years, adopted a resolution to this effect.
The executive of the regional outfit also approved the expulsion of Jagneswar Babu, a party general secretary and now the spokesperson of Odisha Jan Morcha (OJM), a forum floated by Mohapatra.
A separate resolution was approved asking Mohapatra to resign from the Rajya Sabha as he is no more the member of the party.
The expulsion proposals, moved by another party general secretary and Cuttack-Barabati MLA, Debasis Samantrai, were adopted unanimously.
“The decision was taken at the executive committee meeting that Pyarimohan Mohapatra and Jagneswar Babu are expelled and removed from the Biju Janata Dal (BJD),” said Naveen Patnaik, state chief minister and President, BJD.
Reacting to the expulsion, Mohapatra said, “I was aware of this. My expulsion is invalid. I will reach out to the 2.7 million party men against this decision.” On challenging the decision at the court of law, he said, “I will go to the people’s court. About two million out of 2.7 million party workers are disgruntled. They will remove Naveen from the party.”
Mohapatra, who was once a close confidant of Naveen Patnaik had orchestrated an abortive coup on May 29 to topple the chief minister while he was on a foreign tour.
Patnaik retaliated swiftly, suspending Mohapatra and a couple of his close associates from the BJD on June 1 after cutting short his official overseas trip. Spelling out charges against Mohapatra, senior BJD leader and minister for revenue & disaster management S N Patro said, “Mohapatra was indulging in anti-party activities by forming a forum under the banner of OJM and campaigning against the BJD and its leadership after his suspension from the party.”
Mohapatra has also been charged with collecting funds in the name of OJM in violation of rules and the party constitution. Earlier on October 19, the rebel leader had dared the chief minister by claiming that there is no president of the BJD currently. “Naveen has lost the democratic right to lead the BJD since July 2010 as state party executive has not met for two and a half years. Any move to oust me or any of the OJM members would be unconstitutional,” Mohapatra had said.
Meanwhile, Pravat Tripathy, MLA, Banki has been appointed as the state returning officer for organising the BJD organizational polls scheduled for December.