Orissa politicians get busy, officials laze around

July 18th, 2008 - 8:53 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Bharatiya Janata Party

Bhubaneswar, July 18 (IANS) Leaders of Orissa’s ruling Biju Janata Dal are busy keeping their house in order after a section of media reported that there are chances some of its MPs may vote for the Congress party-led United Progressive Alliance during Tuesday’s crucial trust vote in parliament. With their political bosses busy, many government officials are doing little more than discuss the trust vote. “Anywhere you go in the state secretariat, you will find officials discussing the trust vote,” social activist Sudhakar Samal said after a visit Friday.

Samal had come from Puri to meet an official in Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. But he could not.

“I was told no work will be done unless and until the trust vote in the parliament is over” he said.

“I had gone to the secretariat Thursday and could not find the official I wanted to meet on his seat,” said city resident Rabindra Kumar Mohanty.

Orissa has 21 members in the lower house of parliament. Of them, the state’s ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has 11, its ally Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has seven, the Congress has two and the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha one.

According to media reports at least four BJD MPs are not really getting along with the party supremo, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. He may deny them nominations in the next general election, party insiders say.

But Patnaik is taking steps to prevent cross voting. He has already hinted that his party will issue a whip to its MPs to vote against the government led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

A senior leader of the party said: “We are taking all steps to ensure that our party does not get a bad name” through cross-voting.

Patnaik returned here Friday after a trip to New Delhi, where he attended a meeting of NDA chief ministers and reportedly met his party MPs to ensure there would be no cross voting.

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