Bhubanesswar, 21/11: Veteran politician Dr Damodar Rout today said that the Biju Janata Dal should take the advantage of its good equation with the BJP and reiterate the demand for conferment of Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian honour, on Biju Patnaik.
Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his speech delivered In Rajya Sabha had showered praises on the Odisha government and Biju Janata Dal. Modi advised others to imitate the discipline and system prevalent in the Biju Janata Dal.
Referring to this, Dr Rout said in view of this, Odisha should reiterate its demand for the conferment of Bharat Ratna title to eminent statesman and former chief minister Biju Patnaik.
“Biju Babu was more dedicated for the country’s progress than many recipients of Bharat Ratna title. Indonesian government had honoured him with ‘Bhumi Putra’ title”, said the former minister.
“ Conferment of Bharat Ratna will be the best posthumous honour to the great freedom fighter, statesman and politician ”, he said.
The MPs of Odisha should, therefore, raise the demand in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha irrespective of party lines. All the MLAs of Odisha should also draw the attention of the Central government, he said.
The statement of Dr Rout is, however, seen by the political observers as an effort to please BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik, who is Biju’s son. “His statement bespeaks as to how much desperate he is for return to BJD”, remarked a political observer.
Dr Rout was dismissed from BJD on the eve of 2019 general elections and thereafter he had joined BJP. However, Dr Rout resigned from the BJP last month alleging that he was being overlooked by the saffron party. BJD insiders say that Dr Rout is anxious to come back to their party.