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Bhubaneswar, Oct 23 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party Thursday suspended one of its senior leaders in Odisha for making “anti-party” statements on social media.
“The party suspended Ashok Sahu for anti-party activities,” state BJP spokesman Samir Mohanty told IANS.
Sahu had made some “objectionable” comments a few days ago on social networking sites. He also made such comments on television shows despite being warned by party leaderships, the party spokesman said.
Sahu, a former Assam-cadre Indian Police Service (IPS) officer, had held the post of state vice-president and spokesman of the party in the past.
He was not happy with the way the BJP fielded former Biju Janata Dal MP Rudra Madhav Ray as its candidate for Oct 15 Kandhamal by-poll just a day after he joined the party.
The by-poll was necessitated by the death of BJD’s Hemendra Chandra Singh. Singh’s widow Pratyusha Rajeswari, who contested on BJD ticket, won the seat by nearly three lakh votes. The BJP’s Ray stood second.
“Kandhamal by-poll result is a lesson for the BJP to introspect why Modi wave is diluted in Odisha unlike any other part in the country,” Sahu commented on a social networking site.
“The BJP in Odisha, as it appears, requires immediate surgery. It is unfortunate that some in the BJP are celebrating it as an achievement,” he said.
“This euphoria,” Sahu added, “does not augur well for the party. We, in the BJP, both leaders at the state level and the workers have to do a lot at the ground level…”
Sahu contested the Lok Sabha election from Kandhamal in 2009 and from Puri in 2014 and had lost. He was not available for comments.