Thursday, April 9, 2020
Home Politics Naveen Patnaik tapping phones of his party men, suspecting them of joining BJP, newspaper...

Naveen Patnaik tapping phones of his party men, suspecting them of joining BJP, newspaper claims

Also Read

Saswat Panigrahi
Political writer, policy observer.

Tapping phones of political leaders is not new to India politics. Way back in 1988, Ramakrishna Hegde had to step down as the chief minister of Karnataka over allegations of phone tapping. In 2013, the then Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha and now the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had alleged that his phone was tapped. In 2015, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu had alleged that his phone was being tapped by the Telangana government led by K Chandrasekhar Rao.

This time, news of massive phone tapping has come from Odisha. Landline phones and mobile phones of as many as 40 MLAs and 10 MPs of the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) are being tapped by the Naveen Patnaik government, leading Odia daily ‘Nirbhay’ has reported.

The report stated that not just the BJD leaders, phones of several Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders – including Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan – are under surveillance. Several senior IAS officers, senior journalists and businessmen from Odisha are also in the surveillance list, it said.

- article continues after ad - - article resumes -

What could be more shocking is that Naveen Patnaik government is using the surveillance instruments, provided by the Centre, which are meant to be used for tracking the Maoist activities, the newspaper said. The phone tapings are reportedly done through “clone SIM process”.

The report in Odia

But what could be the reason for the massive phone tapping? It could be noted that post-Panchayat elections, there has been a huge outflow of workers and leaders from the BJD to the BJP. Reports suggest that a number of senior leaders of BJD are waiting to join the BJP in the run up to the 2019 elections. It is pertinent to mention that in the last Pachayat elections, the BJP succeeded in making a giant stride in Odisha politics, leaving Naveen Patnaik-led party in a tailspin.

“Naveen Patnaik is feeling threatened. He is staring at a huge anti-incumbency. An unknown fear is lurking Patnaik that his party MLAs and MPs may defect to the BJP anytime soon. He is using phone tapping as a means to keep track on his own party leaders,” said Navin Das, Editor-in-Chief of ‘Nirbhay’ while speaking to OpIndia.com. “By doing this, Patnaik has imposed an undeclared emergency in Odisha,” Das said.

The fresh report of phone tapping has come at a time when the BJD is locked in a bitter internal feud as the BJP rises in Odisha. Recently, Patnaik has sacked senior party MP Baijayant Panda from the post of BJD Parliamentary Party spokesperson, months he wrote an Op-Ed in Odia daily Samaj asking the party to do a “soul searching”.

Bhartruhari Mahtab, another senior party MP and BJD parliamentary party leader in the Lok Sabha, while writing an Op-Ed in ‘Nirbhay’ had lashed out at his senior party colleagues for their failure to deal with a resurgent BJP.

Recently, Patnaik effected a cabinet reshuffle and brought some changes in the party structure to counter the BJP’s surge. Following this, a crisis of sorts started brewing in the BJD as the reshuffle triggered serious resentment in the rank and file of the party over non-representation of several districts in the ministry.

The resentments and some rebellions (leaders switching over to BJP) were seen as an indication of Naveen Patnaik losing hold over a party he was known to command with authority. Now if these phone-tapping allegations are true, it could hint at a leader being nervous about his slipping hold.

- Support OpIndia -
Support OpIndia by making a monetary contribution

Trending now

Saswat Panigrahi
Political writer, policy observer.

Latest News

Tablighis were comfortable to perform toilet functions in public view – book by Malaysian author reveals

Excerpts of the book reveal living and hygiene habits of the Tablighi Jamaatis while in the markaz.

US President Trump thanks India, Indians and PM Modi for allowing the export of hydroxychloroquine, says the help will not be forgotten

The easing of exports of Hydroxychloroquine to the United States comes after US President Donald Trump on Saturday had requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to supply hydroxychloroquine tablets that can be used to treat the Chinese coronavirus patients.

Jammu and Kashmir: Jaish-e-Mohammad commander killed in encounter with CRPF

Sajad Nawab Dar, a Commander of Jaish-e-Mohammad, killed in encounter with CRPF in Sopore in Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir

Radio Mirchi RJ Sayema defends malevolent Tablighi Jamaat members; claims all TV news about them fake

RJ Sayema brazenly defends the malafide actions of Tablighi Jamaat members claiming that incriminating news about them on TV is all fake

Watch: A heartbeaking video of a three-year-old daughter crying to be with her mother in quarantine, serving as a nurse in Belgavi

Nurse Sugandha had not gone home for 11 days as she is in quarantine for 14 days and her daughter went to bed crying almost every night.

Nizamuddin railway station employee tests positive of coronavirus, 15 health workers including doctors of Railway hospital got infected

15 people including doctors and nurses have been kept in isolation after they came in contact with a Coronavirus positive person

Recently Popular

After PM CARES collects Rs 6,500 crores in just a week, Sonia Gandhi wants it transferred to PMNRF: Here is the real reason

Sonia Gandhi, the current President of the Congress party has asked the Prime Minister to transfer all the funds received under PM CARES, that was set up to fight the Coronavirus pandemic, to the Prime Ministers National Relief Fund (PMNRF)

Indian Army to take over Narela quarantine facility after Tablighi Jamaat attendees defecate in the corridor

Earlier today, two Tablighi Jamaat returnees created a ruckus and defecated in the corridor of the Narela quarantine facility

Did you know that the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund had the President of Congress party in its managing committee

After PM Modi launched PM CARES Fund, a lot has been discussed about similarities and differences between PM CARES Fund and PMNRF

Islamists attack Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal after he asks them to stay at home on Shab-e-Baraat

AAP Supremo took to social media to request Muslims to stay at home for Shab-e-Baraat, which is being celebrated on the intervening night of 8th and 9th April.

Bihar: Elderly woman killed by neighbours after fight over switching off lights on 5 April, Sulaiman, Khalil and others absconding

The families had fought when Surendra Mandal, the deceased woman's son had asked his neighbours to switch off the lights for PM Modi's 9baje9minutes call.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Each morning, get an email to keep updated with all the news, opinions and analysis published by OpIndia.

Connect with us

218,104FansLike
276,919FollowersFollow
214,000SubscribersSubscribe
Advertisements