Dissident leader holds rally against Patnaik

Last Updated: Sun, Oct 28, 2012 15:00 hrs

Bhubaneswar, Oct 28 (IANS) Suspended Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader and Rajya Sabha member Pyarimohan Mohapatra Sunday held a rally here against Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

It was Mohapatra's Odisha Jana Morcha's (OJM) first rally in the state capital Bhubaneswar after he was suspended from the BJD for allegedly plotting an unsuccessful coup to unseat the chief minister May 29.

Addressing a large gathering, Mohapatra said the BJD leadership has failed to perform due to unconstitutional and undesirable forces and his organisation would make every effort to remove them.

Attacking Naveen Patnaik for not being able to learn Odiya, the state's mother tongueand official language, Mohapatra said: "How can he lead the state when he could not learn Odiya in 12 years?"

Accusing Patnaik of being inefficient and undemocratic, the dissident leader also said the chief minister has worked against the wishes of his father and former chief minister Biju Patnaik.

"Biju Patnaik had set up Orissa textile mills but his son decided to sell these," he told the gathering. "Reject him (Naveen Patnaik) who ceases to be the president of the BJD as per the constitution of the party," he said.

Refuting the allegation against him on the alleged coup against Naveen Patnaik, the bureaucrat-turned-politician said the chief minister himself probed the matter using his own agencies and did not find any substance.

Mohapatra also said that his party targets to enroll 25 lakh members across the state in the next five months.

Mohapatra was Naveen Patnaik's non-official advisor for over a decade. Challenging Naveen Patnaik's leadership, he launched the OJM, a political forum to "establish internal democracy" in the state's ruling party.

Hundreds of BJD women activists demonstrated here Saturday and burnt an effigy of Mohapatra, demanding his resignation from Rajya Sabha as he has been suspended from the party.

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