Baijayant Panda quits BJD, accuses party of ‘reprehensible Stalinist tactics’ in resignation letter

Senior Odisha politician Baijayant Panda quit the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Monday, by announcing his decision in a resignation letter sent to party president Naveen Patnaik. He would later also convey the same to the Lok Sabha speaker, as reported by ANI:

Following the news-break, media channel OTV News managed to get hold of Panda’s resignation letter, where he has been scathing in his attack on the BJD.

In the letter, Panda expressed deep anguish on no BJD leader arriving to pay his/her respects to his deceased father, who as per him used to be a close friend and supporter of late Biju Patnaik. This as claimed was owing to the party restraining them from doing so. His father died on 22 May.

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Panda thus claimed that the BJD’s desire to expel him was “irrefutably clear”.

In a further indictment of the party’s ungratefulness, Panda reminded Patnaik about his support for the party through thick and thin since 1995 – when he got involved in politics. He also reminded Patnaik about the unflinching support he (Panda) gave him solely based on his unconditional affection and with the hope for a better Odisha.

Panda claims that the BJD has been deviating from its original philosophy of humility and transparency to corruption and goondaism, which he claims was brought to Patnaik’s attention multiple times.

He was also seen expressing his disappointment at him being attacked with stones, eggs and footwear by supporters of his then party colleague Health Minister Pratap Jena, even after which Patnaik didn’t inquire about his health and safety.

In a parting shot, Panda claimed that the organised threats to try and get his supporters to denounce him and the harassment of his relatives amounted to “reprehensible Stalinist tactics” which had no place in any Indian political party.

After the completion of his late father’s religious ceremony, he would also notify the Lok Sabha speaker of his resignation.

This decision by Panda comes a few months after he was suspended from the BJD in January. He was already suspended as the party spokesperson since May 2017.

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