Supremo syndrome yet again takes the toll: Ghadei gone, others alarmed

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 –

one man show

(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.

pandian phandian

(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:

doesnot see the files, not understands

(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:

mentally dull

(“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!

Corporate-State Foul-play in Kalinga Nagar: A Firsthand Report from Prasanta Pattanaik

A team of journalists from Bhubaneswar virtually demolished the invisible iron wall created by the Government of Orissa through its district administration for the benefit of corporate houses and barged into the tribal villages that had become out of bounds for any outsider for past many months.

Eminent journalist Prasanta Pattanaik, who led the team, gives us a firsthand narration. Here is what he says:

Journalists Expose Corporate-State Nexus in Kalinga Nagar

Indian Express reporter Mr Amulya Pati and many other working journalists were attacked on 5th April when they were covering the BJP team led by its State unit President Jual Oram that was trying to enter into Gobarghat and other tribal villages to have a spot study of how the inhabitants there were brutalized by the Police and Corporate goons combine on 29th March, 2010.

Earlier a team of Congress leaders headed by former MLA Mr Sarat Kumar Rout was also prevented from entering into the area.

No journalists were allowed to meet the affected tribals who were physically attacked by the police and corporate goons, their houses looted, personal belongings damaged and livestock taken away.

Every body was prevented from meeting the tortured tribals of Kalinga Nagar as the corporate-Government nexus did not like the picture of their plight to come to light.

Inspired by MUFP, Bhubaneswar based journalists had taken a decision on 7th April 2010 to go in a team to the “prohibited and deprived” villages on 8th April, decrying all prohibitory orders and to meet the people to bring the truth to light. Accordingly a team comprising Prasanta Patnaik, Chandra Mishra, Ramesh Chandra Mohanty, Sudhir Patnaik , Vivekananda Dash, Bhabani Parija, and Bhimsen Kumar had left for Kalinga Nagar.

The local journalists were so much intimidated by the perpetrators of state-terror that some of them even tried to persuade us not to meet the affected tribals. It transpired that they ware not daring to accompany us in fear of the S.P. and the Collector! However some young and energetic journalists of Jajpur district who came by motor cycles joined us. A team of the former category, traveling in a brand new white Innova bearing registration number 3333, driving ahead of us from Chadhei Dhara square stopped in front of Kalinga Nagar police station and did not proceed ahead while the bike riding team led us further.

After we drove about 100 meters from the police station we found the road was blocked with stones and branches of trees. Such blockages we found in three places. However our young friends from the locality removed all the blockades in order to facilitate our movement further.

Gobarghat and 12 other tribal villages which have been branded as the fortress cluster is virtually kept out of bound for civil society bodies, politicians and even mediapersons for past many months by the police and local administration allegedly under instructions from the State Government and particularly from Finance Minister Prafulla Chandra Ghadei, representing the Assembly constituency.

Over 8,000 tribals residing in 13 villages near Orissa’s most talked about steel hub Kalinga Nagar live in confinement and fear for past many months as their villages are surrounded by large contingents of armed police, who terrorize them at frequent intervals. Their only “crime” is that they oppose acquisition of their fertile agricultural land for construction of a mega steel plant by the Tatas. They were opposed to construction of a so-called “common corridor road” leading only to the proposed site of Tata’s steel plant. Though they had announced to go on “peaceful demonstration” to press their seven point demands, the corporate-Government nexus was determined to crush them by using brutal police and hired goons.

On 2nd January, 2006 13 tribals were killed in police firing and one policeman was also killed when the tribals resisted against construction of boundary wall for the Tatas with heavy police deployment. The tribals under the banner of “Bisthapan Birodhi Jana Mancha ” were protesting against their displacement from their home lands, agricultural lands and forests to pave way for acquisition of land for Tatas and other industrial houses. They were pleading that since over ten thousands acres of barren lands were available near adjacent Sukinda area, there was no justification on displacing the tribals of Kalinga Nagar, where they were living from time immemorial depending on agriculture and forest products.

When Tatas and the State Government are bent upon acquiring the land of the tribals, the tribals are also determined not to leave their land at any cost. Dabar Kalundia, one of the leaders of Bisthapan Birodhi Mancha, says, “We will not spare an inch of land for the purpose of establishment of industry. That will be like selling our own mother.We will not allow our mother soil ( mati maa ) to be raped before our eyes…One Govt. officer had approached me and had persuaded me to sale my land at a higher price for industry, I had asked him:what price will you demand to sell your mother?” The officer went back”. Interestingly enough, the administration has declared Dabar Kalundia as an ” absconder “, though he is moving freely in his village and talking to the media on camera.

Some of the tribals of the area alleged that, only to assist Tatas to construct their plant on the lands of the tribals, the State administration has started constructing a “corridor road” by forcefully acquiring the lands of the tribals.

As the local villagers were protesting against such activities of the corporate-Government nexus, their villages have been surrounded by large contingents of armed police for months together and they are not allowed to come out of the villages for marketing, to go to hospital or even to attend the schools.

The only primary school in the village with a student strength of 120 have been abandoned since past two years as a result the students have been denied right to education. No developmental work is taking place in the area as the Government officials have branded it as “disputed area.”

No mediaperson was allowed entry into the area to meet the people and bring their plight to light.

The villagers alleged that recently a group of policemen and goons had forcibly entered into Gobarghati and Chandoli villages after opening fire at the villagers who had gathered near the village. They set ablaze their straw heaps and paddy stocks. Whosoever was a little prosperous amongst them attracted ransacking of their households. Gadgets like TV, electric fans, sewing machines, chairs, tables, dish antennas, utensils, etc. were destroyed and valuables were looted. The police-goon-combine set ablaze a number of bicycles, motor cycles etc and took away chickens, goats, and other domestic animals and birds. All this happened when prohibitory orders under Section 144 of Cr.P.C. were imposed in the area.

Even though the local scribes were covering on duty the BJP team’s visit to the area the Corporate-State was determined to hide from public eyes, one of them, Amulya Pati, was deliberately beaten up by four of the goons quite close to the Minister hailing from the concerned constituency. A seriously injured Pati has named those in his F.I.R. But no action is yet initiated against because of their proximity to the Minister.

The villagers exhibited the rubber bullets and pellets fired at them that has injured and incapacitated around 30 of them.

A Sarvodaya activist, Dr.Biswajit, showed us the pellets which he had brought out from bodies of some injured persons by operation.

We were the fist team of scribes to visit the area on Friday. Earlier, though some TV and print media journalists had tried to enter the villages following the assault by the police and the anti-socials, they were prevented both by the police and goons. The cameras, cell phones and personal belongings of some scribes were snatched away and some of them were beaten up mercilessly.

We met Mr Amulya Pati at his house where he is undergoing treatment for injury. It may take about a month more for his recovery. Amulya informed the team that his main assaulters were henchmen of Finance Minister Mr Prafulla Ghadei and his M.L.A. son. Though he has mentioned the names of his assaulters in his F.I.R., the police so far have not cared to arrest them. We gathered from reliable sources that there were attempts to pressurize Mr. Pati to drop the names of two assaulters from the F.I.R.