Millennium Post

Coup in Orissa?

Coup in Orissa?
This is unprecedented in the political history of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD). There is open rebellion in the ranks against Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who is in London at the moment. The situation is so grave that his government may fall even before he returns. Pyarimohan Mohapatra, a former civil servant, who was considered number two in the BJD, had a meeting with 24 party MLAs, including four ministers, and passed a resolution at his residence in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday evening, demanding a change of leadership in the state.

Sources say that he has garnered support from some MLAs from the Congress as well, under the leadership of Lulu Mohapatra and Narasingha Mishra. Pyarimohan Mohapatra is reportedly all set to float a new political party and stage a coup.

Patanaik is scheduled to return on 2 June.

An undivided BJD is comfortably placed in the Odisha assembly. In the 147-member house, it won 103 seats in the 2009 assembly election, which won Patnaik the second straight term as the chief minister. The Congress has 27 members in the house and the Bharatiya Janata Party has only six members.

The number of MLAs who have shown concern in the Mohapatra-led campaign against Patnaik may not be enough to bring down the government, but it can still embarrass Patnaik, who has been seeking a larger national role for himself, especially during the run-up to the presidential poll.
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