Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Instant expulsion of veteran Prafulla Ghadei by BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik after a petal of his independent mind got published in the Sambad, is the latest evidence of how Orissa’s ruling party is afflicted with congenital fragility. Nobody in this party is safe and sure of continuing with this outfit, as its autocratic boss has no respect for his colleagues’ contributions to the organization that he heads. All members of BJD are servants to him, as if born to serve him like the Paika people of former Rajas. He is the ‘owner’. All others in the party are his slaves with no freedom to criticize him. The State knows that BJD members are sycophants; but for Naveen, they are nothing but factotums, ordained to dance to his tunes, required to act according to his whims and caprices. Otherwise, Ghadei’s life in BJD could not have so contemptuously extinguished in blatant disregard to democratic norms supposed to have primacy in a political party.
Ghadei, a seven-times MLA with several innings in the State cabinet was, like a putrified potato, thrown out of the party he had co-founded, without even any chance to explain his position, on September 20.
The supremo syndrome has yet again taken the toll as his alarmed colleagues stand silent onlookers exactly as the goats in the slaughter house stand looking helplessly at the butcher’s blade after one of them gets beheaded.
The only countable voice heard after Ghadei’s expulsion came from Minister Dr. Damodar Raut who defined the action as unquestionable being an act of divine power (prerogative) of the party ‘supremo’.
When Dr. Raut had been ejected out of the Cabinet along with Bijayashree Rautray, Nagen Pradhan and Balabhadra Majhi under whims and caprices of Naveen Patnaik in May 2006, and none of his co-passangers in the BJD train had extended any support to him and/or uttered a single word against extermination of every iota of collective identity in the party, might be, to Dr. Raut that was Naveen’s divine power in display, we in these pages had pointed out that, in a political party that rules over the State, internal democracy should not have given such way to autocratic overlordship.
Similarly when Prafulla Ghadei, Prafulla Samal, Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak, Pratap Jena and Puspendra Singhdeo were whimsically dismissed from the Council of Ministers in 2012, and their colleagues in the party stood silent onlookers, we had again warned them all that ruling party should have collectively decided who should be dropped from and who should be inducted into the cabinet, so that democracy could be saved from being affected by supremo syndrome.
BJD members have never pondered over this.
It is an irony that Ministers like Debiprasanna Mishra, Bijayshree Rautray, Pradeep Moharathy, Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak, Rabinarayan Nanda et all, who have already had the ignominious experience of whimsical expulsion from the party as and when necessary to save the skin of the chief minister, have no qualms in ignoring the dastardly act of autocratic assault on a founder of the party, who had thought it prudent to play no hypocrisy with the people in matter of management of the state under his party that they have mandated to rule.
What Ghadei did do to be thrown out of BJD, the party he co-founded?
He simply adhered to his conscience as a ruling party politician and to tell the people where from comes the misrule, so that, collective application of mind may manifest to save the State from the whirlpool of corruption, scams and scandals and everything that harms democratic norms. His words to Sambad were plain confession of where the shoe pinches.
We are depicting here below a few excerpts from the interview with comprehensible rendition thereof in English for our visitors.
CAG and investigating sleuths are almost confirming the correctness of our years-long observation that the state is perishing under misrule.
Why the Chief Minister is failing to give a good governance? Sambad had asked. This is because, Naveen babu is in the hands of a coterie, Ghadei had replied. The excerpt-
(Even now, Naveen babu is in the hands of a coterie. Pandian group grabs everything. Now Naveen babu is under possession of K.P.P.P. Kalpataru-Pandian-Pravakaran-Pinaki combine is K.P.P.P. Bijay Patnaik, Arun Sarangi are also with these fellows.)
Why the coterie? Is the chief minister facing a void, not getting proper advice from his cabinet/party colleagues? Is BJD not collectively managed? The interviewer’s mind must have pondered over, before asking whether or not the ruling party runs democratically. Ghadei’s answer along with the question of Sambad is here below –
(Where is democracy in the Party? This is just a single-man party. When we are in the party, can everything be divulged here?In the party, where the meetings, where discussions?) – Ghadei rued when asked to present the picture of democracy, if any, in the party and mode of its implementation.
The Sambad interviewer was apparently eager to know if involvement of many leaders was too overwhelming for the CM to act diligently. Ghadei attributed lack of diligence on part of the CM to absence of proper advice.
(He himself doesn’t do anything.whosoever now enjoys his proximity doesn’t give proper advice. What advice the thieves shall give? Pandian Phandian are there to loot the party.They will loot, what could be said of that!)
But he is the Chief Minister. He must be seeing the files. Should the loot not be coming to his eyes? – Sambad asked and recorded Ghadei’s response like this – Ghadei said:
(He does not see anything. It is a wonder of India. A man does not understand anything, does not say of anything, yet he is a Chief Minister! People have tolerated this, because it is Orissa. He is getting the support, as because, there is no opposition.)
How is he in power for so long, the interviewer wondered. Ghadei said, by maneuvering the Congress High Command.
We have, in these pages, exposed how the Congress High Command has been helping Naveen stay in power by sabotaging the provincial leadership. Ghadei’s statement corroborates our observation, as he has divulged how through Ahmed Patel Naveen has been using the central leadership of Congress in weakening the provincial congress
In the regime of Naveen Patnaik, Orissa has become a grazing ground of greedy non-Oriyas even as its natural resources and purses of its people are being looted unhindered. This happens in a State when the the government as well as the ruling party is headed by a man of notority. Ghadei considered it prudent to warn his colleagues as well as the people in the following words:
(Naveen Patnaik is an expert in causing cleavage amongst party members, in taking revenge and in damaging whosoever in the party is disadvantageous to his design.)
Why is he not changing for the better? Sambad asked. Ghadei said:
(“He does not do anything himself. Always depends on others. Earlier was dependent on Pyari babu. Now in illusion. Now-a-days mentally, physically dull. A handful of traders have taken him to their control.)
These most relevant words of Ghadei should have helped the party he co-founded have a serious introspection, had there been any semblance of respect for democracy left in it. But he has been expelled by Naveen Patnaik, exactly as a pet goat could have been slaughtered by the owner.
How congenitally fragile are the members of the ruling party of Orissa!