BJD expels 14 rebel leaders
The ruling Biju Janata Dal today expelled 14 leaders, including former Union Minister Bhajaman Behera and three members of the dissolved Assembly, from the primary membership of the party for indulging in anti-party activities.
All the rebels were expelled for six years and their expulsion will come into immediate effect, BJD General Secretary Narendra Kumar Swain told newsmen here.
The three members of the dissolved house who were expelled were Debraj Mohanty, Bijaylaxmi Patnaik and Nabin Nanda.
The other expelled leaders were Sachidananda Dalal, Kamalkanta Pande, Laxmidhar Tripathy, Akhaya Dhal, Jalil Khan, Dipu Barik, Rajendra Das, Vijay Nayek, Yanjib Papkara and Ramaballav Rath, the party's Bhubaneswar district president.
Behera, a former union minister in the V P Singh government, was contesting the ensuing Lok Sabha election from Dhenkanal seat as a Samjwadi Party candidate without informing the BJD leadership.
Turning to the criminal antecedents of the BJD candidates, Swain said that nomination was not given to any convicted person. The nominations were given on the basis of the candidates' winnability and merit, he said.
To a question that some BJD candidates had criminal cases pending against them, he said that those cases were not for any serious crime. Cases might have registered against them for participating in a bandh in the past, he said.