3 MLAs, an officer running BJD: Rout

Bhubaneswar: With the demand for his scalp from the party workers getting shriller by the day, senior BJD leader Damodar Rout Tuesday fired another salvo at the leadership.
The former minister said the ruling party is being run by three MLAs and an officer. Speaking to the media here, Rout said, “I was removed from the Cabinet and also from the vice-president and district observer posts. What more positions I am holding now. They will remove me from the BJD, which is being run by four people- one officer and three MLAs- Debasish Samantaray, Arun Sahoo and Bobby (Pranab Prakash Das),” adding that he does not belong to that BJD.
Rout made the explosive statement after several party workers led by Balikuda-Ersama MLA Prasant Muduli and Jagatsinghpur district BJD president Bishnu Das met Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at Naveen Niwas and submitted a memorandum to the party president demanding Rout’s removal from the party.
In his reaction, Naveen said, “A number of people had come with complaints against Damodar Rout. I will look into their complaints.”
Muduli alleged that Rout has been giving anti-party statements and hobnobbing with the Congress and BJP leaders in Jagatsinghpur district. “We demand his expulsion from the party with immediate effect,” the MLA said.
Meanwhile, MSME minister and the party’s Jagatsinghpur district observer Prafulla Samal said Rout could have raised the allegations during his tenure as a minister. Slamming Muduli, Rout said, “Despite being elected as an MLA, Muduli is holding the post of Jagatsinghpur district planning committee. The president of the Zilla Parishad should be the chairman of the committee but the former is working under Muduli which is in violation of the party norms.”
The Paradip MLA further alleged that Muduli and Das had bribed the members of each panchayat of Balikuda and Ersama with `5,000 each to bring in complaints against him.
Rout recently received flak from within the party for raising issues relating to scams in sapling plantation, procurement of polythene sheets for Omfed and cooperative societies before the media.
Rout said he cannot dissociate himself from the party as long as the party’s name is prefixed with the name of ‘Biju’.