If western Odisha is neglected like this, we will not hesitate to divide Odisha and break away: Gregory Minz

June 24, 2012 at 11:01 am Leave a comment

Following report is from OTV:

Congress MLA Gregory Minz created an uproar when he abstained from voting in the last Rajya Sabha elections defying party diktats. Here in Khola Katha with Manoranjan Mishra, he explains his position and talks about his future plans for the ensuing Rajya Sabha elections.

Q. When your party and the people of the entire state were looking at you with the faith that our representatives will behave in the most judicious way, why did you behave like in such a manner which sullied the image of entire political class? Why did you behave in such a fashion?

A. This is all about the game of spreading canards in politics. I had no other reason than a personal one to remain away from voting. I was supposed to return on 16th. But the flight was cancelled due to heavy rains. Even on 17th I could not catch the flight as I got stranded in the traffic. A special chartered flight was arranged which brought me here.

Q. Who had hired the chartered flight for you?

A. It was my party. The High Command asked me to reach here anyway. So I came.

Q. It was said that you tried to hide in the airport and you were not interested to come out?

A. This is a wrong message. I had tried my uttermost to reach in time. It was my misfortune that I could not reach in time. I am very sad for what ever happened.

Q. Were you contacted by the BJD or not?

A. No. My appointment with the doctor was fixed earlier. I was supposed to admit my wife and come back.

Q. But your party persons do they believe you?

A. I cannot help it if they do not believe me. Had it been the case then I would not have come back on 17th. I tried my level best to reach in time but failed.

Q. But your own men do they doubt you or not?

A. They will doubt and doubt definitely.

Q. What did you explain before the Narasingha Mishra Committee?

A. I have told everything before the committee. What ever had happened actually?

Q. Have you been exonerated by the Narasingha Mishra Committee?

A. I have not received anything in writing. But I was asked over the phone to work for the party in the panchatyat election.

Q. Who asked you?

A. It was Jagdish Tytler.

Q. Jagdish Tytler, is he aware of entire issue?

A. I have personally narrated the entire issue to him in writing as well as told him the thing personally.

Q. But your problem was so acute that you had to go on that date and you could not have waited for two more days?

A. The appointment with the doctor was already fixed. I had to go at any cost as I got the appointment after waiting for a very long time.

Q. Nobody from the BJD had really contacted you?

A. No, no one had approached me.

Q. So many MLAs were contacted and offered money? But you were not… how come?

A. I am a disciplined worker of the party. All these baseless allegations are hurled at me unnecessarily. I am in the party and working for the party. I am prepared to do whatever the High Command wants me to do.

Q. Was it right to put up Tara Patnaik as the candidate?

A. Look, I have to obey the decision of the party.

Q. But what was your personal choice?

A. I will say that some one from the tribal community should have been sent to the Rajya Sabha. We have been neglected continuously. The man should have been from Western Odisha since the state collects maximum revenue from Western Odisha. Still it is the most neglected part of the state. Revenue collected from Western Odisha is being spent for the development in Cuttack and Bhubaneswar. We don’t like it. We have been demanding for a bridge over river Brahmani for a long time where as fly-overs come up in Bhubaneswar daily. We say that give us at least fifty per cent of the revenue collected from Western Odisha and we will not ask neither the Centre nor Odisha government. Our money will be spent for the development of our areas.

Q. Did you raise all these things when Tara Patnaik was put up as the candidate?

A. The candidature was decided at the highest level. No meeting was held to discuss the issue.

Q. So, you think that the problem cropped up because the decision was taken at the highest level?

Q. I will categorically state that the MLAs should be definitely consulted to take any such decision.

Q. So you revolted as the decision was trusted upon you?

A. No I did not revolt. I could not come due to my personal problems. Why should I disobey the decision of my party being a disciplined worker?

Q. Whom would you have voted for had you been able to come in time?

A. Definitely to the man decided by the party.

Q. But did you not feel disheartened by the party’s decision? The party is favouring an industrialist and not any one from Western Odisha?

A. I will discuss all these if ever I get an opportunity to raise these things in the party. Still, I want to warn that if Western Odisha is neglected like this, we will not hesitate to divide Odisha and break away.

Q. When you came to know that Shivaji Majhi of your party and Bhimsen Choudhury from BJP were facing charges of horse-trading and the CD had already arrived, did not you think that it had opened a black chapter in the state’s political history?

A. Definitely. When I came to know that two others had not come for voting I realised that the same charges would be treated against me as well. But I was unfazed for ultimately truth prevailed and I was not suspended.

Q. Do you believe in the Shivaji Majhi CD?

A Look, one man’s voice can be tampered in the recording. The truth will come out after the probe. I have no other comments.

Q. But how do you feel when you hear that one MLA of your party has taken money?

A. Such charges will be levelled at you if you are in politics. You cannot go ahead if you break down. But I don’t believe it. If the people of his area support like the people of my area support me than I have nothing to say.

Q. But will the charges loose significance if the people support you?

A. The people are not fools. They can make out what is what.

Q. It is time for another RS election. Will you stay put in Bhubaneswar or will you go away to Mumbai?

A. I will be the proposer of the man this time my puts up as its candidate.

Q. But will your party men believe in you? An influential group in the party believes that you already have indirectly joined the BJD and one of the vulnerable MLAs for horse-trading?

A. The party will definitely believe in me. For, despite the use of money and muscle power by the BJD, I was able to ensure the victory in two ZPs and that of two Chairmen in the last election. And I don’t know what horse-trading is all about?

Q. But horse-trading takes place in politics or not? Have you been approached by anyone in tenure as MLA?

A. No one has ever approached me. Nor has anybody ever told me that this man is distributing money.

Q. So you believe that there was no horse trading and whatever others are belling is the truth?

A. Look Bhimsen Choudhury had told in his area that he cannot vote for the Congress candidate.

Q. And what about Shivaji Majhi?

A. I cannot tell anything about him. But Bhimsen is my neighbour. He is a staunch opponent of the President of his party. I guess that could be the real reason.

Q. Who are those persons in the BJD with whom you have good relations?

A. I have good friends in all the parties be that BJD or BJP or any other party. Political rivalry is a different thing. I go to even Naveen Patnaik with the problems of our areas. My relations with him is very good.

Q. And with Pyari Babu?

A. Not so much. I go directly to the chief minister.

Q. Did you ever talk to Tara Patnaik before the elections?

A. We were being contacted over phone by some senior leaders where as he should have talked to us directly and that too in a joint meeting. It does not look nice also to vote for someone not knowing the man personally.

Q. Will vote for Tara Patnaik if your party again puts him up as the candidate?

A. Yes, I will vote for the candidate who is finalised by the High Command of my party.

Q. For you, what comes first, your conscience or the party?

A. Party comes first.

Q. What is the difference between the playing field and political field?

A. There is not much of a difference. We preferred to play attacking when I was playing and I continue to play attacking game in politics as well.

Q. But is the Congress able play the attacking game?

A. I didn’t believe in groupism in politics. In the just concluded election the BJD won not because it is popular but because it abused both money and muscle power.

Q. What is your take on the personality of Naveen Patanaik?

A. He is most welcome. He listens to everyone. But I am not speaking for the heck of politics, but he is not able to do much for the development of the state.

Q. And about Pyari Mohapatra?

A. I don’t know much about what is happening in that party. I don’t disrespect any senior politician. But what I will emphasise is the fact that for the development of the state we all must have to when the demand arises rise above the party level.

Q. One last question. Can you vouch that in the ensuing RS election you will not be lured by money power and vote in a disciplined manner?

A. Definitely. I am here in politics not to earn money. I want to work for the people and want to see that the benefits of development trickle down to the lowest level.

(Contact Manoranjan at: manoranjan.mishra@orissatv.in)

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Entry filed under: Demand of Koshal state, Discussions, Region watch, Sundergarh.

Bomkai Saree of Subarnapur district, western Odisha Ghanta Badya of Ghess, Bargarh

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