BJD chief Naveen Patnaik expels Gopalpur MLA Pradeep Panigrahi for 'anti-people' activities

Ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) president Naveen Patnaik on Sunday expelled Gopalpur MLA Pradeep Panigrahi from the regional party on charge of "anti-people" activities.

An official release issued by the BJD said: "Pradeep Panigrahi, MLA Gopalpur is expelled from the primary membership of the party with immediate effect for his anti-people activities."

The three-time MLA and a former minister, is the first leader in the regional party who has been expelled on charge of "anti-people" activities, though many members in the past were removed from the BJD on "anti-party" charges.

Though the BJD's official order signed by its general secretary (Media Affair) Manas Ranjan Mangaraj mentioned Panigrahi's "anti-people" activities, it was not clarified the nature of the offence he allegedly indulged in.

The party action against Panigrahi came after the anti-corruption vigilance wing established his alleged association with suspended Indian Forest Service Officer (IFS) Abhay Kant Pathak and his son Akash Kumar Pathak.

The father-son duo has been arrested and sent to jail on charge of amassing huge properties in a disproportionate asset case. Panigrahi had allegedly helped Pathak's son Akash in a job fraud.

Pathak's son has also been accused of cheating youths from Ganjam district by luring them with jobs in a reputed company.

Panigrahi allegedly helped Akash in the cheating incidents, sources in the vigilance said.

Panigrahi was not immediately available for comment.

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Free Press Journal