Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik suspends MP Baijayant Panda from BJD

Bhubaneswar: Seven months after removing BJD’s media-savvy MP Baijayant Jay Panda as spokesperson of the parliamentary party, chief minister and BJD chief Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday suspended him from primary membership of the ruling party for “anti-party activities”.
The articulate and widely networked MP has increasingly been isolated since last year when he called for ‘introspection’ within the party following the emergence of BJP as the principal opposition to the ruling BJD in the panchayat elections held in February. Panda, active on Twitter and Facebook, has been a source of discomfort for BJD as he would praise Prime Minister Narendra Modi while questioning Patnaik’s working style.
Party vice-president Surjya Narayan Patro said Panda has been directly and indirectly indulging in activities aimed at weakening the BJD, whether it is in the Parliament, state, constituency or media space — he missed no opportunity Panda to criticize BJD and eulogize the opposition.
“His claim of being a BJD founding member are totally false. Panda’s conduct during the Panchayati Raj election, in which he did not campaign for party candidates even in his own constituency and instead indulged in anti-party activities supporting opposition candidates, was against the interests of the party and its functionaries,” said Patro.
Reacting to the disciplinary action, Panda tweeted: “@Naveen_Odisha didn’t see through the conspiracy against me led by an IAS ofer now controlling the party. I vehemently deny the allegations against me, they are entirely false and baseless. I will pray to Jagannath for guidance before I respond further.”
The action against Panda came after Patnaik last week asked two of his senior leaders to probe the allegations of the MP disregarding party workers.

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