Wednesday, March 3, 2021
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

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.

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 Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

Saswat Panigrahi
Political writer, policy observer.

Related Articles

Trending now

‘Was shot at because I carried out Tiranga rally and opposed throwing of beef outside Hindu houses’: RSS activist narrates political violence in West...

In December 2019, RSS activist Bir Bahadur Singh was shot at point-blank range in his back in Kolkata’s Metiabruz area in broad daylight

As Anurag Kashyap, Taapsee Pannu and others face raid by Income Tax department, ‘liberals’ descend to cry vendetta

Liberals suffered a meltdown on Twitter after 22 locations linked to director Anurag Kashyap & others were raided by I-T Department

Metro car shed: Maha govt says it is ready to pay for disputed Kanjurmarg land, months after claiming it cost Rs 0

The disputed Kanjurmarg land, which the Maharashtra government and Aaditya Thackeray boasted of being acquired for free of cost, is currently under litigation.

Jalgaon shocker: Police officials and hostel employees accused of forcing women residents to strip dance, complaint filed

The resident girls in the hostel have alleged that police personnel and some outsiders, in connivance with some hostel employees, were allowed to enter the hostel under the pretext of interrogation.

West Bengal: Police recover arms, bombs from the house of a worker of Indian Secular Front, an ally of Congress

Police recovered shotguns, bombs & bomb-making equipment from the residence of Indian Secular Front worker Ziarul Mollah

Income Tax raids conducted at around 22 locations linked to Taapsee Pannu, Anurag Kashyap and Vikas Bahl in tax evasion case

Simultaneous raids are being conducted at the homes and linked properties in Mumbai, Pune and some other locations of Taapsee Pannu, Anurag Kashyap and others

Recently Popular

PM Modi and his mother abused live on air by a caller on a BBC radio show on Sikhs in the UK

BBC edited the program and the host offered apology after caller abused PM Modi and his mother during a live radio show

‘Inserted her hand claiming she was planting a tree’: LGBT activist Divya Dureja accused of sexual assault under pretext of shamanic ritual

A popular LGBT activist Divya Dureja has been accused of sexual assault by Elodie Gendron under pretext of a Shamanic ritual.

Aamir Khan shelves Mahabharat amidst controversies because ‘now is not the right time’: Reports

Aamir Khan has shelved his 'Mahabharat' project amidst controversies because the 'timing' is not right, reports say.

Sourav Ganguly may attend PM Modi’s Brigade Ground rally in Kolkata on 7th March: Local media

Sourav Ganguly may attend PM Modi's rally at Brigade Ground in Kolkata on March 7, according to reports in local media.

A woman molested, a father murdered, a Samajwadi Party leader accused: Here is all you need to know about the Hathras case

"Aatankwadi hain woh", Hathras victim Pooja exclaimed, expressing her angst against the SP leader for killing her father

The Hindu ‘journalist’ Suhasini Haidar puts out misinformation about ISRO satellite launch: Read details

Suhasini Haidar, National Editor of 'The Hindu', put out false information on social media in attempt to mislead the public.
- Advertisement -

 

Connect with us

253,184FansLike
521,525FollowersFollow
23,800SubscribersSubscribe