The vice-president of the Biju Janata Dal, Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, was removed from his post on Tuesday. This happened before the Assembly and Lok Sabha polls in Odisha. He was removed because he allegedly wrote critical editorials in his Odia daily. The BJD did not give a reason for removing him.
The BJD leaders accused Soumya Ranjan of blackmailing the party. They said he wrote critical editorials in his newspaper and made statements on TV channels. He criticized the way the State government works and the tour of the State by V K Pandian with public money.
Soumya Ranjan denied blackmailing the party and said he only gave suggestions to help the BJD.