Patnaik revokes suspension of two BJD MLAs

Bhubaneswar, Feb 11: Biju Janata Dal (BJD) president and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Monday reinstated party legislators Prabhat Ranjan Biswal and Bibhuti Bhusan Balabantaray, who were suspended for their involvement in anti-party activities.

“The suspension orders of Prabhat Ranjan Biswal and Bibhuti Bhusan Balabantaray are hereby withdrawn with immediate effect,” party chief Patnaik said in a statement.

Both the legislators were suspended from the BJD along with three others — Rajya Sabha member Pyari Mohan Mohapatra, Women and Child Development Minister Anjali Behera, and Minister of State for Commerce and Transport Sanjib Sahu — from the BJD June 1 last year.

The suspensions came after they allegedly plotted an unsuccessful coup led by Pyari Mohan Mohapatra to unseat the chief minister May 29.

After his suspension, Mohapatra launched the Odisha Jana Morcha (OJM), a political forum, saying he wants to establish “internal democracy” in the state’s ruling party.

The OJM has held several rallies in recent months and is gearing up to hold a few more to cause embarrassment to the ruling BJD. Mohapatra was a close confidant of Patnaik for years.

IANS