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Double whammy for Dama, removed from party posts too

 Dr Damodar Rout, axed from the Cabinet of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik yesterday in a bold show of zero tolerance towards derogatory remarks on religion, caste or creed, today received another shock after being relieved from BJD vice president and Dhenkanal District Observer posts even as the former minister said he was not worried.

While Rout asserted that he was unperturbed over being dropped from the ministry while the Chief Minister ruled out a reshuffle of his Council of Minister following the sacking of Rout.

A release from BJD said, BJD President Naveen Patnaik has relieved Dr Rout from these two posts.

The axed Minister told reporters today in his reaction to the action taken by the Chief Minister, "I was elected by the people to serve them and not to become a minister. I will continue to work for the people as an MLA," Rout told reporters adding, “ The development was "natural."

"I have been dropped from the ministry as the Chief Minister lost confidence in me," Rout who was embroiled in controversy after alleged derogatory remarks against the Brahmin at a meeting in Malkangiri recently drawing flak from Brahmin organisations.

The Former Minister said that it is up to the Chief Minister to decide whom he will retain or take in the ministry. "Becoming a minister is not anyone's constitutional rights," he said.

Rout, who was dropped from the ministry thrice in the past, also said that people are his "masters".

Rout had evoked controversies on several occasions in the past, including remarks against farmers and Anganwadi workers.

While addressing a public meeting in Malkangiri recently, Rout had said that tribals do not beg even in adverse situation while Brahmins beg for alms if the situation so demands.

Meanwhile, a day after dropping Agriculture Minister Damodar Rout from the council of ministers, Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik today dismissed any possibility of early reshuffle in his ministry.

“There is no plan for any reshuffle yet,” Patnaik told reporters while replying to a question on a possible reshuffle in the ministry.

Following Rout's sacking, Patnaik has distributed the departments looked after by Rout to other ministers.

While Panchayati Raj Minister Pradeep Maharathy has been given additional charge of agriculture and farmer empowerment, fisheries and animal resources development departments, Finance Minister S B Behera is put in charge of public enterprises department.



Précis 2017
From asking his party men to ‘live a simple life and serve the people’ to taunting the BJP for its ‘crocodile tears’, Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik has not only become politically invincible, he seems to be so in the coming years too.


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