Bhubaneswar: Some 23 years after resigning as chief minister of Odisha following mounting criticism of his handling of rescue and rehabilitation of the 1999 super cyclone, Giridhar Gamang claimed he had been a victim of “super politics”.
Gamang, who was then a member of Congress, said he had resigned as the chief minister due to “internal party politics” and alleged that some people of the grand old party had “planned” his ouster and had “succeeded”.
“I am a victim of super politics and not super cyclone,” the veteran tribal leader said.
Gamang, a veteran tribal leader of Odisha, who had held ministerial berths under prime ministers Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, and P. V. Narasimha Rao since 1982, had to quit as the Odisha chief minister immediately after the 1999 super cyclone that killed around 10,000 people in the eastern state.
On the reason behind quitting as chief minister barely nine months after occupying the post, Gamang said “Since over two decades, I have been accused of failing to handle the super cyclone and therefore resigned from the chief ministership. I have tolerated it all along. But, it is not a fact.”
During his five-decade old political career, Gamang has hit the limelight several times and he made history when his lone vote in the Lok Sabha when he was also a Congress MP from Koraput had played a key role in bringing down the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government on April 17, 1999.
The 79-year-old veteran tribal leader and nine-time Lok Sabha MP had resigned from the Congress in 2015 and joined the saffron party.
“Have you ever seen or heard any opposition party like BJD or BJP raising an issue over my style of functioning as the chief minister or criticising me over super cyclone management? “It was my party (Congress) people then who made all sorts of allegations against me just for political reasons”.
“I resigned as the CM because of the internal party politics in the Congress and therefore, I call it that I was a victim of super politics,” Gamang said.
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