HIGH profile Odisha Lok Sabha MP Baijayant Panda, 54, has quit the state’s ruling Biju Janata Dal headed by Naveen Patnaik, son of illustrious Biju Patnaik since 2000. He was suspended from the primary membership of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in January this year for violating party’s dictates. In a three-page letter to BJD president Naveen Patnaik, Panda, stated to be a founder –member , said he was “hurt and unhappy” since the members of the ruling party did not have the courtesy to attend the funeral of his industrialist father Bansidhar Panda. He passed away seven days ago. Bansidhar Panda was close to Biju Patnaik and they had cordial relations with Biju Patnaik, he added.
“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 .” Panda regretted that he felt heartbroken to know that several BJD leaders were “restrained” from attending the funeral service.”It is with deep anguish, hurt and sorrow that I have decided to quit the kind of politics into which our BJD has descended,” he wrote in the letter. He would convey his decision to quit the membership of Lok Sabha to Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.”With the BJD and you (Patnaik) yourself having made it abundantly clear that I am unwanted, it is only right for me to dissociate from it. Separately, I will be conveying my decision formally to the Honourable Speaker of the Lok Sabha to accept my resignation from that August institution upon completion of my religious obligations of bereavement.”BJD says they would react to his allegation after his mourning period is over.
He was elected from the Kendrapara constituency on BJD ticket in 2014.He denied the charges against him as “false and baseless.” He also alleged there was a conspiracy against him. Previously, he was a Rajya Sabha Member from 2000 to 2009.He is an alumnus of the Michigan Technological University. With a background in Engineering and Management, he went on to work in the corporate sector before joining politics. He assisted the late Biju Patnaik and subsequently Naveen Patnaik, who founded the Biju Janata Dal party.