In a belated but mysteriously soft move, the ruling Biju Janata Dal in Odisha announced the suspension of three party leaders who are contesting as independent candidates in three different assembly constituencies in Jajpur district. Party sources said Pradip Bal Samant (Tuku), Amar Nayak and Pratap Mohanty have been suspended from the BJD for contesting against the official party candidates in Sukinda, Badachana and Korei assembly seats respectively.
However, it is unclear why the party chose to treat these three rebels with kid gloves and did not expel them for anti-pary activity, like it did in the case of former minister Anjali Behera (Hindol), Ashok Panigrahi ( Bijepur), Uma Samantray ( Satyabadi), Kusha Appot ( Sukinda) and Raghunandan Dsh ( Erasama-Balikuda). A senior party leader, who did not wish to be named, said all the three enjoy the ‘blessings ‘ of the ‘new BJD Chanakya’ and that explains why they were not expelled but let off with a formal suspension which can be lifted as and when required.
To a question whether these three rebel candidates could harm the winning chances of the official candidates of the party, the BJD leader said “they have been planted by a senior party leader to do just that “. It was, however, not possible to get an official explanation from the BJD as to why the Jajpur rebels were treated differently from the other rebel candidates who were slapped with expulsion orders