States & UTs

    "Naveen Patnaik responsible for BJD defeat in Odisha": Independent candidate Soumya Patnaik

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    The Hawk
    June5/ 2024
    Last Updated:

    Soumya Ranjan Patnaik took a strong stand against the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) after their defeat in the State Assembly and Parliamentary elections.

    Soumya Patnaik

    Bhubaneswar: After the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) suffered a defeat in the State Assembly and Parliamentary elections, independent candidate Soumya Ranjan Patnaik took a swipe at BJD, claiming that former Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, the party's supremo, was responsible for the party's defeat.
    The independent candidate from the Ghasipura constituency also expressed gratitude to the people of the Lok Sabha seat, saying that he was glad he could keep his promise of conducting an incident-free election in the parliamentary seat.
    Adding further, he said that he would continue to serve the people of the Ghasipura constituency, regardless of the wins and losses in the elections.
    After a long, see-saw battle, BJD leader Badri Narayan Patra won the Ghasipura assembly seat by a margin of 13958 votes. Badri Narayan Patra defeated independent candidate Soumya Ranjan Patnaik.
    Speaking to ANI here on Wednesday, Soumya Ranjan Patnaik said, "I want to express my gratitude through them to the people of Ghasipura. As you all know, I fought as an independent candidate from the Ghasipura constituency in these Lok Sabha elections. I am overwhelmed by the kind of love and support they provided in a matter of 2 weeks and I wanted to express my gratitude to them."
    "Winning and losing is not the issue. I fought a very good election. Particularly, Ghasipura has been known for its violence. I had promised myself that I would try to make it an incident-free election and I am very happy that today Ghasipura did not report any untoward incidents in these elections. To that extent, the people of Ghassipura have cooperated with me and I congratulate the winning member," he said.
    "It is now the responsibility of the winning party to sustain a violence-free record in the constituency. I will continue to serve the people here," he said.
    Soumya Ranjan Patnaik also opened up about his expulsion from the BJD earlier last year and claimed that the party suffered losses in the elections due to the dictatorship and miscommunication of the party workers and leaders.
    "BJD had expelled me almost 6-7 months before the elections. I don't know why they expelled me. I only remember when the then CM Naveen Patnaik took me to the party 6 years ago. He had described it as an event and said that Soumya Babu would become an asset to the party. When did this asset become a liability, I do not know," he said.
    "Perhaps I spoke the truth. I always used to say whatever was right for the party. I think speaking freely and telling the truth is perhaps what created problems for them. But I don't think, anybody who considers truth to be a liability will succeed and that is what has happened," he stated.
    Adding further, he said, "No party is run by this kind of dictatorship, without any communication with the leader. What kind of political party is this, where no views or suggestions are exchanged? Nowhere in the country, a party is run by the secretariat. The people of Odisha have taught them a lesson. No party can be run by slaves," he stated.
    "It is very unfortunate that the very senior leaders prefer to be slaves rather than free active political agents and that is what they have paid for. If BJD becomes a good opposition party and works for the aspirations of the people, performs its duty, they will certainly have the opportunity to come back to power again," said the independent candidate.
    He took a dig at former Odisha CM and said, "Naveen Patnaik has to take responsibility for the defeat of BJD because VK Pandian does not come out of the blue. It was his government, that ran under him, and therefore he should be held accountable."
    Biju Janta Dal (BJD) removed the senior leader and vice president of the party, Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, from his post in September 2023.
    The party did not cite any reason for removing him from the post.
    The Editor of Odia Daily 'Sambad' had been facing severe criticism from party leaders for his alleged critical statements in the media and editorials questioning the public grievance program by the Chief Minister's Private Secretary, VK Pandian, and the functioning of the Odisha Government.
    Meanwhile, after a massive defeat in the State Assembly and Parliamentary elections, the 24-year-old tenure of Odisha CM and BJD chief Naveen Patnaik concluded as he submitted his resignation to Odisha Governor Raghubar Das at the Raj Bhavan in Bhubaneswar on Wednesday.
    The Biju Janata Dala, which has ruled Odisha since 1997, lost to the BJP, breaking the 24-year-old reign of Naveen Patnaik as the Chief Minister.
    The Bharatiya Janata Party secured 78 seats in the 147-seat assembly. The BJD secured 51 seats way behind the majority mark of 74 and the Indian National Congress secured 14 seats.
    In the 2024 Lok Sabha polls also BJP performed well by securing 20 out of the 21 parliamentary seats of the state, the remaining one seat was won by Congress.
    Naveen Patnaik had made an unexpected entry into state politics through the BJD, a party named after his father, the former Odisha CM Biju Patnaik.
    His political journey began with a victory in the 1998 Lok Sabha by-poll, representing his father's constituency of Aska. Following the BJD's success in the 2000 Assembly elections, forming a coalition with the BJP and gaining a majority, Patnaik resigned from his position in the Union Cabinet to assume the role of chief minister.
    Since then, he has been the second longest-serving Chief Minister after Sikkim CM Pawan Kumar Chamling.
    The counting of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections was held on Tuesday. According to the Election Commission of India, the BJP won 240 seats, much lower than its 2019 tally of 303.
    The Congress, on the other hand, registered a strong growth, winning 99 seats. The INDIA bloc crossed the 230 mark, posing stiff competition, and defying all predictions.

    —ANI