Appeal by Civil Society Groups to National Political Leaders not to accept Invitation of Dr. Damodar Rout to address Centenary Celebration of Birth Day of Biju Patnaik, former Chief Minister, Odisha
Civil Society Groups working for betterment of Odisha have made passionate appeal to the Political leaders of national repute to turn down the invitation of Dr. Damodar Rout, Vice-President of Biju Janata Dal and Minister for Cooperation and Excise for the function organised to celebrate birth centenary of Biju Patnaik at Paradeep on 5th March.
In a letter dated 24.2.16 addressed to Sri Mulayam Singh Yadav, President, Samajvadi Party, Ms. Mamata Banerjee, Hon’ble Chief Minister West Bengal, Kolkata, Sri Lalu Prasad Yadav, President Rashtriya Janata Dal, Sri Nitish Kumar, Hon’ble Chief Minister, Bihar , Sri Sarad Yadav, President Janata Dal ( United ), the members of Civil Society Groups have brought to the notice of these leaders that Dr. Damodar Rout, Minister for Cooperation and Excise, Govt. of Odisha and Vice-president of Biju Janata Dal has made a press statement about his invitation to you to address the public meeting to be organised on coming 5th March at Paradeep to celebrate the birth centenary of Biju Patnaik, a well known political leader and former Chief Minister, Odisha. This programme is being organised under the banner of Biju Memorial Trust. This invitation has already triggered off a political storm in Biju Janata Dal with the party spokespersons coming down heavily on Dr. Damodar Rout for having announced it without the knowledge of the party. These leaders have also made it clear through their press statements that their party Biju Janata Dal is in no way related with this programme and it happens to be the personal agenda of Dr. Rout himself. Strangely enough, while the party is passing through such a serious inner-party feud between its rival factions to the bewilderment of the public at large, Sri Nabin Patnaik, Chief Minister, Odisha has been maintaining an ominous silence about all this, confounding thereby the confusion already created.
The letter has also enlightened the leaders that Sri Nabin Patnaik as Chief Minister during the last 16 years of his rule, has been infamously embroiled in a number of mega scams involving his office and portfolios. In the Chit Fund scam, Rs. 40,000 crore has been allegedly looted by the Chit Fund Companies promoted by his Govt. Itself. In the land scam in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack as much as about Rs. 1, 00,000 crore worth of prime urban land has been grabbed by the corrupt biggies like Ministers, MLAs, IAS and IPS officers and also the owners of Private Hotels and Educational Institutions having dubious records such as KIIT. Each of these land grabbers could succeed in amassing multiple plots in the twin cities using the name of their spouse and relatives, thanks to their unholy league with the corrupt officials and that too in connivance with the office of Chief Minister. The notorious mining scam that cost the State exchequer a staggering amount of Rs. 60,000 crores scam, as is well known, was masterminded by the mining mafia in active collaboration with the corrupt officials and some leaders of Biju Janata Dal.
Though the Shah Commission had recommended for a CBI Inquiry into the mining scam, the BJP-led NDA Govt. has not taken yet any worthwhile step in this direction. As a matter of fact, Sri Nabin Patnaik has been able to bargain out the national level BJP leaders not to go for CBI inquiry, by way of a cunning show-off of strength of 30 MPs in parliament, which is a significant factor for the BJP-led NDA Government for passage of any Bill in the Parliament. Sri Nabin Patnaik has also been able to influence the BJP led Govt. at the Centre to slow down the ongoing CBI investigation into the Chit Fund case. This behind-the-scene bonhomie has been evident from the visit of Sri Amit Shah, President of BJP and Sri Narendra Modi, Prime Minister to the State of Odisha on dt. 21.2.16 who never uttered a single word against the State Govt or Chief Minister Nabin Patnaik. On a number of occasions in the Parliament this opportunistic and tacit alliance between the BJP and BJD has led to handing out of unconditional support by the BJD to the BJP in the matter of the legislative enactments. In turn, Sri Nabin Patnaik Government could muster the unstinted support of BJP in the legislative and administrative matters for protection of his Government from the attack by the opposition. Further, as BJP has a strong nexus with corrupt corporate mafias, it has also managed to build good equation with Sri Nabin Patnaik simply to protect the interests of the corporate sector. Besides, BJD’s criticism against BJP or Central Govt. on Polavaram issue or Central negligence is just eyewash, meant to confuse the public.
As the unholy alliance of BJD-BJP gets exposed in public and the people of Odisha having secular values are getting sensitised about BJD’s nexus with BJP, Sri Nabin Patnaik is trying hard to recover from this tangle. Sri Patnaik as a part of his image building exercise has set Dr. Damodar Rout to invite you to join in the celebration of birth centenary of Biju Patnaik. His sole motive behind all this is to show off to the public that that he enjoys close rapport with the leaders of different political parties at national level. Thereby he too aims at acquiring a stronger position in his bargain with BJP and hopes that the BJP led Central Govt. would also be cautious enough in taking any step towards destabilization of BJD Govt from power.
On a close analysis we do feel that Dr. Damodar Rout’s invitation to the leaders of national parties or regional political parties is nothing but an exercise to strengthen bargaining power of Nabin Patnaik vis-a-vis BJP and simultaneously to white-wash his image that has been tarnished due to the multiple scams.
The Letter has requested these leaders not to entertain any illusion about the Chief Minister Sri Nabin Patnaik whose misrule has destroyed Odisha, reducing the state into the poorest one in the country, where 88% of the rural poor live below poverty line. Besides, he has cunningly emasculated all the constitutional and quasi-judicial bodies in the State, and thereby made a mockery of them. Ever since he assumed power, he has been guided by a coterie of mischievous bureaucrats and politicians, who do not have an iota of sympathy for the poor or and regard for the rule of law. To divert the attention of the common people from the series of mega scams, chronic maladministration and utter lawlessness, as you might know, he announced the so-called populist doles like 5 rupee rice-dal scheme, free umbrella and blanket scheme etc.