BJD lawmaker to quit electoral politics, says 13-yr-old son convinced him
A day after former BJD MP Baijayant Panda joined the BJP, four-time BJD MP from Dhenkanal, Tathagata Satpathy announced his decision to quit politics on Tuesday.
Satpathy, son of former Odisha chief minister Nandini Satpathy, said that he was bidding goodbye to electoral politics following the wish of his son 13-year-old son Aaryl Che. “I was mulling it for a long time. My son was pressurising me. He wants me to stay at home, focus on journalism and not to contest election. But I will be in politics,” Satpathy told HT.
The 63-year-old Satpathy triggered speculations of his quitting politics on Monday when he tweeted about attending attended the 11th day ritual (shraddha) of an acquaintance in Angul district along with seven BJD MLAs. “Lunched and happily bid adieu to all,” he tweeted.
Satpathy will meet chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday and formally announce his decision of not contesting elections anymore. “I will focus on my newspaper and not join any other party,” said Satpathy, reacting to rumours that he was headed for BJP.
One of the most vocal MPs of BJD - be it on the demand to legalise use of cannabis to criticising the GST and demonetisation - Satpathy is believed to have fallen out of favour with chief minister of late. However, BJD sources said Satpathy was trying to get a BJP ticket for his wife Adyasha for Dhenkanal Lok Sabha constituency.
Born to politician parents (father Debendra Satpahy was two time MP and mother Nandini was Union minister as well as CM) and educated in Puducherry’s Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education, he seemed to be well-set for a career in politics, but did not achieve any success initially. Known to be brash, Tathagata during the emergency days allegedly called shots in Odisha administration taking advantage of his mother’s position as CM.
It was in 1990, when Tathagat had tasted his first political success after he joined Janata Dal in 1989 under Biju Patnaik and was elected from Dhenkanal Sadar assembly constituency. To secure her son’s career, Nandini moved to neighbouring Gondia seat, from where she won on a Congress ticket. In 1998, he was elected to Lok Sabha for the first time from Dhenkanal, but suffered a defeat in 1999 general election at the hands of KP Singh Deo.
A year later he quit BJD to join Bijoy Mohapatra’s nascent Odisha Gana Parishad where he was secretary general. When he realised that his political career was going nowhere with OGP, he quit to join BJD a month before the 2004 Lok Sabha election. Since then he has never lost from Dhenkanal.
Satpathy is better known in Odisha as editor of Dharitri, now among the top three Odia dailies. In the early 1990s, he turned the staid eveninger Dharitri into a morning paper which boosted its circulation.