BHUBANESWAR: The BJP admonished party’s senior leader Bijoy Mohapatra for audaciously questioning the petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan.
Bijoy wrote a letter to the Union minister on May 31 highlighting how Paradip refinery of the Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) failed to generate enough jobs for the locals in contrast to promises made by Dharmendra. “…the dreams of the educated unemployed Odia youths remain shattered. Outsiders have taken over,” Bijoy wrote.
“Starting from direct employment to indirect ones like contract work, labour, transport of goods are all being awarded to people and agencies outside Odisha. Locals with the same qualification and equipment are left in the lurch,” he wrote.
Bijoy’s letter has raised conjectures about his future political tactics. The national executive member, who is renouncing from most BJP events, is seen to be shelved in the saffron team in recent months. Bijoy had heretofore challenged Dharmendra’s stand on Mahanadi dispute though the latter is deliberated as party’s poster-boy in the state and possess a securehold on the party’s state unit.
In opposition to Bijoy’s letter, BJP spokesperson Golak Mohapatra said, “Bijoy seems to be working for the BJD’s interest as he is reiterating questions upraised by the regional party, which were already answered. He is oblivious about what IOCL has done.” Golak said out of the 346 non-executive posts, 166 are occupied by Odia officers. Around 87% contractual workers, 4475 of 5123, are Odias, he said.
Dharmendra himself deflected media probes on Bijoy’s letter. “He (Bijoy) has given good suggestions,” Dharmendra said when reporters sought after his response during an event in the city.
Bijoy brought in support from unforeseen sections as BJD tried to feast on BJP’s intra-party differences. Endorsing Bijoy’s views on IOCL, agriculture minister Damodar Rout said, “I am thankful to Bijoy for raising IOCL job issue. Even labourers are not being paid wages properly.” BJD spokesperson Samir Ranjan Dash too resonated similar views and said, “Dharmendra owes an answer.”