Millennium Post

Naveen suspends Mohapatra

On Friday, the Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik suspended the Rajya Sabha member Pyari Mohan Mohapatra and four others, including two ministers, from the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) for anti-party activities.

Patnaik made the announcement at the state secretariat after holding discussions over several hours at his official residence with senior party leaders and legislators.

The others who were suspended from the party are the women and child development minister Anjali Behera, the minister of state for commerce and transport Sanjib Sahu, and the legislators Bibhuti Balnantray and Prabhat Biswal.

Patnaik said he has written to state governor M C Bhandare to drop the two ministers from the government. The chief minister, however, did not announce as to how many years they would be suspended from the party.

Patnaik's move came two days after dissidence in the party came to the fore when Mohapatra held meetings with a large number of legislators at his residence on Tuesday while Patnaik was away in the UK. Mohapatra also openly criticised the functioning of the government and the party a day later.

His opponents saw the meeting as a move to destabilise the Patnaik government and demanded action against him.
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