Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Internecine war for change in power in the ruling BJD is slowly but steadily taking a bizarre turn, with a party functionary razing down a cover that the Chief Minister was to use to escape the Pipili gang rape repercussions.
In a Kamyab TV panel discussion on Saturday, ruling party mouthpiece Narendra Swain stoutly rejected the report of the Chairperson of Orissa State Commission for Women (OSCW) that the victim of Pipili gang rape was not at all raped.
“I reject this report as sheets of rubbish”, Swain said.
Swain is a former district secretary of the Communist Party of India who has joined BJD at the instance of its de facto leader Pyari Mohan Mohapatra, a man, who, despite being an IAS officer from recruitment to retirement, is known to have never snapped off his link with the CPI ever since it was generated in his student days.
Therefore, Swain’s total rejection of the OSCW chairperson’s report has its own significance.
But before looking at that, let us first take a cursory view of why the OSCW chief must have coined this report, though any idiot should have the intelligence to understand that such a report could be nothing but an affront to reality and hence unacceptable.
Ms. Jyoti Panigrahi, authoress of this report, heads the OSCW, despite having no legitimate qualification for the post. She is there, because Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik wanted her there. Therefore, she had to oblige him by producing this report, designed to provide him with a cover to escape the Pipili gang rape repercussions. .
Jyoti doesn’t legitimately fit into OSCW
The Orissa State Commission for Women Act, 1993 provides for nomination of its chairperson under Section 3 (2)(a) that stipulates that the person to head the OSCW must be “an eminent social worker or a professional committed to the cause of women”. Jyoti was neither an “eminent social worker” nor “a professional committed to the cause of women” before her nomination to hold the office. She was one of the followers whom the autocrat of BJD, Naveen Paatnaik, had favored with a party post like many other sycophants he has appended to the party’s long list of office bearers. So, she had no legitimate qualification that justified her appointment as chairperson of OSCW. Naveen is in the habit of appointing his followers to different important offices either to derive sadistic pleasure out of the debacle caused thereby to that office or to satisfy his personal ego that notwithstanding how the Rules require, he rules over the State according to his whims and caprices.
Report created to give Naveen a cover
The Pipili gang rape has fidgeted Naveen into a state of total demoralization. Though yet he appears as the preening prince of Bijudom, he now desperately needs a cover.
Personally involved with Panchayat electioneering, he, therefore, is in dire necessity of such a report that can cover his skin from the Pipili gang rape wrath that has already taken the toll of ministership of Pradip Maharathi representing Pipili in Orissa Assembly and the employment of Amulya Champatiray, the then Inspector of Police in that Police Station.
To the CM’s chagrin, the Pipili gang rape has shake-woken the conscience of the entire State, as reflected in all of the non-BJD political parties getting united in a flag-less platform to demand exemplary action against the culprits and their accomplices in the government, despite a Judicial Commission of Inquiry appointed to probe into the felony. To save Naveen from this despair, Jyoti has tried to create a counter shock wave by her uncalled for report dated February 1 that, “to her personal information”, the gang rape had never occurred, as alleged, in Pipili.
But, she has not succeeded in this adventure. Even she is not being relied upon by BJD workers that are eager to protect Naveen from Opposition attack. On the other hand, party mouthpiece Narendra Swain has openly rejected her report as sheets of rubbish.
It is increasingly being clear to whoever amongst the members of BJD are, more than being mere sycophants, a bit politically alert with sense of self-respect, that, if they continue to exhibit blind faith in Naveen, their own credibility as persons in politics will be completely wiped out.
Therefore, in BJD, howsoever nascent, resentment against Naveen has started taking a definite shape and the party of Biju’s blind followers has become a two-polar party with Pyari Mohan Mohapatra reigning over the mightier side. In fact, he has been enthroned in the minds of BJD rank and file as the only alternative that can save their politics if helped to replace Naveen.
Naveen also knows this.
And, hence, he has no qualms in contravening election codes in the Panchayat polls in order to keep the rank and file under his grip for howsoever long a period possible.
After the Panchayat polls, the nascent squabbles would be more specific.
But Narendra Swain’s conniption before the Kamyab TV camera branding Jyoti Panigrahi’s Pipili gang rape report as blatant rubbish can be viewed as a preview of what is coming to happen.
It is curious to note that, despite having rejected the Panigrahi report as rubbish, Swain was adamant in rejecting the demand for an inquiry into Pipili felony by the CBI. He went on boasting of the BJD strength in the Assembly to shout down rising voices for investigation by the central agency.
Kauravas had the majority; but they perished when the victims of their treachery raised their weapons, said eminent journalist Prasanta Patnaik, participating in the same panel discussion. He is one of the two conveners of Orissa Gana Samaj that is spearheading mass solidarity with the victim.
But it had no effect on Swain. He went on boasting of his party majority though the occasion and the issue had nothing to do with his party majority.
Then, why, he, a seasoned political person with many years experience in the Communist Party of India, preferred such braggadocio in such a platform?
Does he suffers from lack of sense of proportion?
Intently read, his uncalled for braggadocio was meant for reminding Naveen of his limitations vis-a-vis the massive majority the party commands in the Assembly and significance thereof in a bipolar condition that BJD has entered into with Pyari’s powerful emergence as the ultimate alternative.
So, Pipili felony is precipitating a political situation that may bring in a change in chief-ministership.
BJD members will never like to be finished like the Kauravas. But as portended by Prasanta, they will be, if the present pattern of nonchalant autocracy continues under the guise of democracy.
Therefore, significant is Swain’s rejection, on the one hand, of the Panigrahi report contrived to help Naveen with a cover, and, on the other hand, his conscious effort to make BJD MLAs conscious of their strength in the Assembly, so that, if need be, they may change the chief minister to continue in power.
Pipili crime has made one thing clear. The ruling BJD will not be the same as heretofore. Internecine quarrels will rise to its brim and in order not to end like the Kauravas, it will hereafter try to test if change in chief-ministership changes the scenario of demoralization it has been pushed into. Let us wait and watch.