BY BISWARAJ PATNAIK IN PURI, AUGUST 6, 2017: One fine morning, some Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) pundits imagined they had made a chance discovery of a blemished Biju Janata Dal (BJD) poll funding, particularly involving the party supremo and Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik.

BJD brushed the whole issue as a stupidly cooked up ‘malice story’ with the sole intention of maligning the invincible Naveen Patnaik who has remained untarnished on every count despite attacks from opponents, detractors, ruthlessly dismissed moles and insider crooks over the years. Erstwhile BJD frontliners including Ramakrishna Patnaik, his wife (name difficult to recall), Kamala Das, late Nalini Mahanty et al and more had tried to hit back on dismissal in utter vain.

Some ally BJP ministers too were tossed out or humiliated for graft and personal misconduct as and when caught on the wrong foot. Even the mighty Pyari Mahapatra, now no more, was outcast for an alleged coup attempt. Most of the discarded characters had publicly roared ‘revenge in good time’ but had ended up biting dust. A few of them, subsequently, squeaked admittance of blunder and expressed unconditional allegiance to make re-entry only to survive in public glare.

Only after the coalition failed in 2009, have the BJP lions been grunting about the imaginary betrayal. Interestingly, after the conclusive demolition of Congress in 2014, the Narendra Modi–Amit Shah controlled BJP leaders got so inspired that they declared complete takeover of the country soon by hook or by crook. Odisha, however, has remained virtually unaffected by the BJP storm only because Naveen is more trusted figure and more so BJP is considered a communal party.

The prestigious magazine ‘India Today’ talked of a ‘Naveen Mystique’ only weeks ago, saying deciphering the magic of Naveen is nearly impossible as the Odisha masses are in monumental awe of the reticent CM who hates to remain in limelight or engage in loud public rhetoric for all the good reasons. Naveen admirers say the detractors are insanely desperate to malign him on the flimsiest ground. They say Naveen is not an expert Odia orator. Local language is of course a factor to keep the masses happy. But then the people are not exactly anxious about what their leaders speak as long as the performance chart remains impressive.

Odias still find Naveen clean and highly credible. The ascending trend in vote count has been proving this theory ever since 2004. For that matter Indira Gandhi was an alien in Karnataka when she won hands down from Chikmagalur in 1978. She couldn’t have spoken a word of Kannada even if she put in best efforts for years. Performance and public credibility score far too above spoken language. Naveen seems least bothered about the insane moves by the local BJP leaders as they are bound to hang heads in shame for not having done any homework before making allegations about the blemished election funding and expense statements by the BJD functionaries.

The BJD leaders have lately brushed aside the allegations confidently and have demanded apology from the BJP for making malicious charges without any factual foundation. The BJP meanwhile has knocked all doors- the Election Commission, the ED and the High Court. The BJD says that all the documents related to election funding are on public domain. A semi-skilled auditor can dig into the documents and ferret out the truth.

BJP leaders alleged that Naveen Patnaik was paid on two occasions — through cheques (441619, dated 30.03.2014) for Rs 10 lakhs and second cheque (795036 dated 15.06.2014) for Rs 6, 48,320. The first cheque is a ‘take cheque’ for Naveen Patnaik. Interestingly, the quarter-baked BJP sleuths have not yet known that the second cheque was a give – back cheque to the party coffers.

So he kept only 351680 rupees with him. The BJP mathematics wizards have failed to figure out this simple fact. Later again, Naveen has availed a grant of money by way of reimbursement for his campaign tour expenses including helicopter hiring charges transferred through an RTGS transaction wherein the bank generates its own transfer reference number.

The BJP intelligence wing has grabbed this bank’s own number to prove that a fraudulent transfer had occurred. The State Bank of India holding the accounts has made it formally clear that it’s no account holder’s number but a bank–generated operation code number.

Hence, the BJP masters making allegations do not have the capacity to understand basic banking procedures.

The State Bank of India did clarify on July 24 that the transactions are bonafide and legal carried out as normal banking transactions in accordance with the Negotiable Instruments Act. The BJP allegations regarding similar RTGS numbers related to transactions for Naveen Patnaik and unfortunate party MP Ramchandra Hansda, who is in jail in connection with ponzi scheme scam.

Ramachandra Hansda

Hansda was paid Rs 10 Lakh by the BJD through a cheque bearing the number 441666 dated 08.05.2014, which has nothing to do with the cheque number of Naveen Patnaik who was paid vide SBI-generated number 441619.

A nine digit number (538976288) in the BJD account which the BJP has described as ‘mysterious’ is only an SBI number picked from the Core Banking Solution (CBS) which is used in case of batch posting. This number does not have any significance and appears only while printing passbooks but not in statement of accounts. The BJP super brains do not know all this maybe because they do not believe in transparent money transactions lest the public should know the truth about massive fund raising by opaque methods.

Subash Mohapatra who has filed a writ petition with the Odisha High Court, may only be a front. He has not done due diligence or homework before filing the petition. Election Commission of India (ECI) has been notified to give counter on July 18 when hearing may begin.

Pratap Keshari Dev

Rajya Sabha member Pratap Keshari Deb has rightly said the BJP leaders should look at their own sources of income before levelling nonsensical charges against others. Earlier, the BJP had provoked the income tax department and the ECI to dig into the make-believe poll funding frauds by the BJD leaders. Incidentally, the average assets for 281 winning candidates of the BJP was Rs.11.59 crore .

BJP is essentially a trader–friendly outfit. It has its own home-grown problems that brand it as a non-secular party. Faith fanatics like Hukumdev Narayan Yadav MP from Bihar’s Madhubani, while expressing concern over the killing of a worker of the BJP’s ideological mentor RSS in Left-ruled Kerala, concluded shamelessly that a majority of Muslims in India have descended from Hindu communities. So they must show respect and worship the Hindu gods and goddesses. Such a statement is inappropriate in the law making house of a secular country. Origins of faith cannot be a critical factor for determining what one should like or dislike. For that matter, most Hindus too have converted to the faith from aboriginal tribes, nomadic Aryan and highly civilised Dravidian stock.

Mr Yadav hit out at all opposition parties for targeting the central government over mob attacks. Some people are indulging in terror activities to defame the BJP government.

People must know that the Modi government was left red-faced in Rajya Sabha only recently when the Opposition managed to drop a crucial clause from the Constitutional Amendment Bill on the National Commission for Backward Classes just because most BJP MPs from treasury benches were absent during the proceedings.

The dropping of Clause 3 under opposition pressure has implications beyond the Bill. All this shows how careless, casual, indifferent and unruly the NDA MPs, mostly from the BJP fold are about issues of national interest. All this after PM Modi’s gave strict instructions to all his MPs to remain present at the parliamentary proceedings unless there was big medical urgency or unavoidable appointments of great significance.

There is grapevine murmur now that strong disciplinary action would be taken against the absenting MPs, which is least likely because the ‘Ache Din’ party bosses lack courage to haul up MPs no matter how grave their lapse. They promise happiness to the poor but work devotedly to bring immense joy to the wealthy.

‘Ambani’ and ‘Adani’ tribes will have all support to make hay even if the sun fails to shine. The real tribals will remain backward and deprived forever, except a few ‘no–more tribal’ figure like Jual Oram. No wonder, the average assets of the 281 BJP MPs staggers at 11.59 crore rupees. BJP is unfailingly where big money smells. So the millionaire MPs will go scot free.

The BJP better refrain from false‘money fraud’ talk to remain shielded from deadly allegations that might come up and be difficult to dispute. It’s universally known that Odisha is the only state where the saffron party is likely to bite dust in 2019.

‘Modi magic’ simply does not exist there. Naveen is still the most trusted and beloved emperor who attracts votes even if he does not show up once. His performance, not his populist rhetoric, has endeared him to the masses. Amit Shah and Co knows this truth too well. So, they have to work hard and nearly spend most of the party loot in Odisha to be slightly felt by the people.

Winning would be a distant dream even in 2024. The main reason for defeat is lack of a credible face. If only Modi himself contests from all the 147 seats, he might pocket 25 seats to be considered lucky. Naveen is much larger in life in Odisha than Modi can ever become. Truly, the phenomenon called ‘Naveen Mystique’ does exist and difficult to decipher and explain. That’s a divine status which befalls only a very few!