Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MP from Kendrapara, Baijayant Panda, was on Wednesday suspended from the primary membership of the party for “anti-party” activities.Mr. Panda, who is the vice-president of IMFA, India’s largest, fully integrated producer of ferro alloys, was suspended from the party with immediate effect by Chief Minster and BJD president Naveen Patnaik.IMFA is engaged in mining, ferro alloys and electricity production.The dissident MP, who remained a Rajya Sabha member of the BJD from 2000 to 2006 and again from 2006 to 2009, had won from the Kendrapara Lok Sabha constituency twice as a BJD nominee — first in 2009 elections and again in 2014.Mr. Panda had been trying to weaken the regional party since he was not allowed by the party leadership after the 2014 elections to become the head of the Lok Sabha’s Standing Committee on Finance, senior Minister and BJD vice-president Surjya Narayan Patro said in a press note.“Mr. Panda’s claim that he was a founder-member of the BJD is baseless,” said Mr. Patro in his statement.Backed OppositionThe rebel MP had not campaigned for the BJD nominees in the run-up to the panchayat elections last year and instead openly campaigned for opposition parties, Mr. Patro added.Mr. Patro further said that as vice-president of IMFA, Mr. Panda had received ₹1,45,27,747 in 2014 towards salary and allowances, and waiver of loans to the tune of crores of rupees of IMFA (previously named as ICCL) was still surrounded by controversy.Reacting to Mr. Panda’s recent tweets, BJD spokesperson and MP Pratap Keshari Deb said the rebel MP was appearing to be speaking the language of Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.
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