BHUBANESWAR: After cracking the whip on the key players in the failed coup attempt against him, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday started the process of purging loyalists of Pyarimohan Mohapatra from the district party organisations.
Naveen held day-long confabulation with ministers, leaders and MLAs from different districts asking them questions on the state of BJD organisations in their areas. The scanner will be on pro-Pyari district presidents and office-bearers who may pose problems for him in future. The exercise is likely to continue for a day or two more. Naveen has now adopted a wait and watch policy before his next move.
The first task before Naveen after the failed attempt will be to purge all Pyari loyalists from the organisation from the block level onwards. The organisational structure will have to reworked by him.
The Chief Minister on Saturday hit back at Pyari by calling him a beiman (traitor). Deploring the attempt made to dethrone him, Naveen said it is like thieves in the night who come to someone’s house when the residents are away.
Naveen said Pyari’s reaction to being suspended from the party seemed to be out of frustration. There was a midnight operation to dethrone him when he was away for a week on State Government’s work in the UK, the CM said. “What should I call it, Beimani, Beiman, Beiman,” he said, adding, “it is very, very sad.” However, the Rajya Sabha member was not available for comment.
Loyalists of the Chief Minister continued to put pressure on him for taking action against those who were spared the axe. Some of the MLAs who met Naveen at Naveen Nivas demanded disciplinary action against Deputy Speaker Sananda Marandi and Minister of State for Housing and Urban Development Sarada Nayak, who had played a key role in the entire incident.
Several partymen told “Express” that Marandi was instrumental in taking four MLAs from Mayurbhanj district __ Kamala Nayak, Srinath Soren, Manoranjan Sethi and Bijay Nayak __ to Pyari’s residence and later to a posh hotel on Tuesday night to be produced the next day for the show of strength.
Besides, there are several other ministers and MLAs who did not get exposed even though they supported Pyari. Naveen now desperately wants to know the identity of the first 10 persons who would have signed against the blank numbers on the signature sheet. Sources said some senior ministers were hand-in-glove with Pyari from the beginning in this exercise, but kept away when the attempt failed.