BJD MP Baijayant Panda quits party

He resigned from party primary membership citing lack of political decency.

Bhubaneswar: Baijayant Jay Panda, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) Lok Sabha member from Kendrapara, resigned on Monday from the primary membership of the party citing lack of political decency in the organisation.

Mr Panda, a founder member of the BJD, submitted his resignation letter to party supremo and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

“It is with deep anguish, hurt and sorrow that I have decided to quit the kind of politics into which our BJD has descended. Although things have been going from bad to worse for the past four years, it has plumbed the absolute depths of inhumanity when neither you nor anyone from the BJD turned up to pay their last respects to my father Dr Bansidhar Panda, who as everyone knows was a very close friend, supporter and associate of Biju uncle (Biju Patnaik) for decades,” the MP said a three-page letter to the CM, adding, he was heartbroken when several BJD leaders conveyed that they had been restrained from coming by to pay their last respects to the departed soul.

“Separately, I will be conveying my decision formally to the Speaker of the Lok Sabha to accept my resignation,” Mr Panda said in the letter.

The legislator’s father Dr Bansidhar Panda, a close friend of CM Mr Patnaik’s father and state’s top industrialist, - had passed away on May 22, 2018. Neither Naveen Patnaik nor any of his ministers and BJD MLAs turned up to pay last respect to the departed soul.

Mr Panda further said, “I had stood by you and the party through the thick and thin, unhesitatingly helping you to take on the many challenges faced over the years, including when the parliamentary party had split in 2002, and the event of May 29, 2012 (alleged power usurping bid by former BJD Pyarimohan Mohapatra).”

The BJD leaders were cautious in their reactions to Mr Panda’s resignation. “Party supremo has received the resignation letter. Mr Panda’s family is in deep sorrow following the death of his father. We will give our official reactions after the completion of the departed soul’s religious rites which continue for 11 days,” said senior BJD leader Debi Prasad Mishra.

Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan said, “Baijayanta Babu has very hurt as the CM did not extend the courtesy to pay last rites to his father. Dr Bansidhar Panda was above politics. He quit his job of scientist in a foreign land following advice by Biju Patnaik and came to Odisha and set up a plant in 1960s in the backward Koraput district. By not paying him last respect, the CM, his ministers and MLAs has cut a sorry figure for themselves.”

The MP was suspended from the BJD by party chief Naveen Patnaik on January 24 for alleged “anti-party” activities.

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