Ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) president Naveen Patnaik on Sunday expelled Gopalpur MLA Pradeep Panigrahi from the regional party on charge of “anti-people” activities.
An official release issued by the BJD said: “Pradeep Panigrahi, MLA Gopalpur is expelled from the primary membership of the party with immediate effect for his anti-people activities.”
The three-time MLA and a former minister, is the first leader in the regional party who has been expelled on charge of “anti-people” activities, though many members in the past were removed from the BJD on “anti-party” charges.
Though the BJD’s official order signed by its general secretary (Media Affair) Manas Ranjan Mangaraj mentioned Panigrahi’s “anti-people” activities, it was not clarified the nature of the offence he allegedly indulged in.
The party action against Panigrahi came after the anti-corruption vigilance wing established his alleged association with suspended Indian Forest Service Officer (IFS) Abhay Kant Pathak and his son Akash Kumar Pathak.
The father-son duo has been arrested and sent to jail on charge of amassing huge properties in a disproportionate asset case. Panigrahi had allegedly helped Pathak’s son Akash in a job fraud.
Mr Pathak’s son has also been accused of cheating youths from Ganjam district by luring them with jobs in a reputed company.
Mr Panigrahi allegedly helped Akash in the cheating incidents, sources in the vigilance said.
Mr Panigrahi was not immediately available for comment.