BJD Suspends MP Baijayant Panda For Alleged 'Anti-Party Activities'

| January 25 , 2018 , 11:00 IST

Odisha Chief Minister and Biju Janata Dal (BJD) President Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday suspended Kendrapara MP Baijayant Panda from the party for alleged 'anti-party activities'. A 4-time MP, Panda denied the allegations against him, calling it a conspiracy.

BJD Vice-President Suryanarayan Patro confirmed the suspension of Panda from the ruling BJP for indulging in anti-party activities.

"Panda has been directly or indirectly indulging in activities aimed at weakening the BJD, whether it was in Parliament, state, constituency, or media space -- no opportunity was missed by Panda to criticise the BJD and eulogise the opposition," a BJD release said.

According to reports, during the Panchayat elections in Odisha, Panda did not campaign for party candidates even in his own constituency and instead indulged in anti-party activities to support opposition candidates.

Panda expressed his shock in a tweet, saying, "I'm shocked. Very very sad that Naveen Patnaik didn't see through the conspiracy against me led by an IAS officer now controlling the party. I vehemently deny the allegations. They are entirely false and baseless. I will pray to Lord Jagannath for guidance before I respond further."

Previously, Panda had been nominated by the BJD twice to the Rajya Sabha in 2000 and 2006 and contested Lok Sabha elections on BJD ticket in 2009 and 2014 representing Kendrapara constituency.

BJD, meanwhile, said that Panda, who is the Vice-Chairman of the Indian Metals and Ferro Alloys Limited, wanted to become the Chairman of the Standing Committee on Finance in the Lok Sabha but party leadership refused to nominate him due to concerns over conflict of interest. Since then, Panda had been indulging in anti-party activities, claimed the BJD.