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BJD leaders urge CM to take action against MP Panda

MP Baijayant Panda

Bhubaneswar: The recent overhead water tank project inauguration row at Buhalo in Nischintakoili block in Cuttack district saw another twist with some BJD workers led by Nischintakoili block chairperson Sabita Ojha meeting Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at the Naveen Niwas here on Sunday and lodging complaints against Kendrapada MP Baijayant Panda.

Ojha alleged that the MPLAD funds are not being properly utilized by the MP in his constituency. Besides, she accused Panda of high-handedness and neglecting them completely.

The allegations came three days after Panda claimed bureaucratic interference in BJD’s affairs.

The tank was built using money from the MP’s local area development (MPLAD) fund. The local leaders, who had alleged that they had been kept out of the programme, had staged a silent protest at the block headquarters while the inauguration was on.

In a memorandum submitted to Naveen on Sunday, Ojha alleged “The Kendrapada MP did not consult any party worker before finalizing the inauguration programme. He conducted the programme by inviting members from outside the Mahanga constituency.”

Briefing reporters at his residence after meeting the local leaders, Naveen said he would inquire into the allegations.

Though Panda has not levelled any more allegations against the way the government or BJD functions, a section of leaders within the party is pressing the chief minister for action against him. However, it seems unlikely that Naveen will act against the four-time MP any time soon.

“The chief minister has already reacted to Panda’s allegations and said he would take appropriate action at the right time. This means he has taken note of whatever is happening. It is also clear that Panda has crossed all limits,” said a senior party leader.

Days after Baijayant accused an officer at the CM’s office of interfering in the ruling party’s affair, another ex-MLA of the BJD and opposition leaders on Sunday again slammed the bureaucrat.

“The BJD is not functioning properly. There is some problem somewhere in the party. The CM remains in the dark on many issues,” former BJD MLA from Dhenkanal, Nabin Nanda, told reporters.

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