BHUBANESWAR: Kendrapara MP Baijayant Panda was on Wednesday suspended from the primary membership of Biju Janata Dal (BJD) by Chief Minister and party supremo Naveen Patnaik for anti-party activities.

Announcing the decision here, Food Supply and Consumer Welfare Minister Surya Narayan Patro, who is also the vice-president of the ruling party, said Panda did not campaign for party candidates in the last panchayat polls and indulged in anti-party activities by supporting the Opposition candidates.

Patro said Panda has been directly or indirectly indulging in activities aimed at weakening the BJD whether in Parliament or in the State, in his constituency and in media after the party leadership refused to nominate him for chairmanship of Lok Sabha Standing Committee on Finance.

Political observers, however, believe that Panda’s suspension from BJD is a

direct fallout of his attack on the functioning of the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO). Party leaders and workers of all the seven Assembly segments of Kendrapara Lok Sabha seat had complained against Panda before the Chief Minister at Naveen Nivas for ignoring them in constituency matters.

The Chief Minister had directed senior minister Usha Devi and former minister Pramila Mallik, party’s observers for Kendrapara and Cuttack districts, to investigate and submit reports to him. Reacting to his suspension, Panda said he was shocked at the decision of the party.

“I am very sad that the party president did not see through the conspiracy against me,” he tweeted. Vehemently denying all allegations against him, he said they are entirely false and baseless. “I will ponder on this news and pray to Lord Jagannath for guidance before I respond further,” he said.

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