Ending all speculation, the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Friday expelled the rebel leader and Rajya Sabha member Pyarimohan Mohapatra from the primary membership of the party for anti-party activities.
The state executive of the party, which met here after a gap of nearly three years, adopted a resolution to this effect.
The executive of the regional outfit also approved the expulsion of Jagneswar Babu, a party general secretary and now a close associate of Mohapatra.
The expulsion proposals, moved by another party general secretary and Cuttack- Barabati MLA, Debasis Samantrai, were adopted unanimously.
“The decision was taken at the executive committee meeting that Pyarimohan Mohapatra and Jagneswar Babu are expelled and removed from the Biju Janata Dal (BJD),” said Naveen Patnaik, state chief minister and President, BJD.
Reacting to the expulsion, Mohapatra said, “I was aware of this (expulsion) and it was about to happen. I will reach out to the 2.7 million party men against this decision”.
On challenging the decision at the court of law, he said, “I will go to the people’s court and about two million out of 2.7 million party workers are disgruntled.”
Mohapatra said, the party men will kick him (Naveen) out of the party.
Mohapatra, who is a sitting Rajya Sabha MP and one-time confidant of Naveen Patnaik had orchestrated an abortive coup on May 29 to topple the party supremo in his absence.
Patnaik retaliated swiftly, suspending Mohapatra from the BJD on June 1 after cutting short his official overseas trip.
“The BJD executive body decided to expel Mohapatra for indulging in anti-party activities and forming a ‘Jana Morcha’. The body also decided to dismiss him from its primary membership for campaigning against the party and its leadership”, said Surya Narayan Patro, senior party leader and state minister for revenue and disaster management.
Mohapatra has also faced the axe for allegedly collecting funds in the name of ‘Jana Morcha’ and violating the rules of the party constitution.
On the removal of Mohaptara from Rajya Sabha, Kalpataru Das, pancahayati Raj minister said, steps will be taken in this regard to remove Mohapatra as the proposal has been unanimously accepted by the members of the party.
Earlier on October 19, the rebel leader had dared the chief minister by claiming that there is no president of the BJD currently. He (Naveen) has lost the democratic right to lead the BJD from July 2010. Any move to oust me or any of the OJM members would be unconstitutional”, Mohapatra had said.
Meanwhile, Pravat Tripathy, MLA, Banki has been as the state returning officer for organizing the BJD organizational polls scheduled to be held in December.