Naveen Patnaik expels Damodor Rout from BJD

Ruling Biju Janata Dal president and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Wednesday expelled party's Paradip MLA and former minister Damodar Rout from the regional outfit on charge of anti-party activities.

"As per order of BJD president Naveen Patnaik, Paradip MLA Dr Damodor Rout has been expelled from the party," BJD secretary Bijay Nayak said in a statement.

Patnaik's action came a day after receiving complaints against Rout. A large number of BJD workers had Tuesday met Patnaik at his residence and petitioned against Rout seeking disciplinary action against him.

Rout was also accused of making anti-party statements and hobnobbing with Congress and BJP leaders in Jagatsinghpur district.

The seven-time MLA was embroiled in a controversy since last week after raising three alleged scams to the embarrassment of the ruling BJD as well as the state government.

The veteran leader had alleged there were irregularities in sapling plantation, procurement of polythene sheets for OMFED, cooperative bank and health sector while interacting with the media.

He had been minister in the Naveen Patnaik Cabinet in all the four terms from 2000 till 2017.

On December 22, 2017, Rout who was the Agriculture minister then was removed from the ministry over a controversial statement on the Brahmin community.

Since 1979, Rout had been in charge of more than 15 different departments during his long political innings after he became MLA for the first time in 1977.

Rout had earlier in the day claimed that he never uttered a word against Patnaik and targeted only corrupt officers.

"I have not said anything against the chief minister. All along I have high impression on our chief minister. The CM has a lot of exposure as he toured world wide. He is a good writer and his book has been a best seller. He is also a painter of international repute. He is not part of the allegations which I have made," Rout had told reporters earlier on Wednesday.

"Some subordinate people working under the chief minister are guilty. They are indulged in such activities. Nobody is bringing it to public out of fear. I have tried it," the former minister claimed while referring to alleged corruption he had mentioned.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)