Bhubaneswar: While Sambit Routray, a young mechanical engineer by profession and known for his reasonably soft and decent in dealing with public, was standing in the queue of BJD ticket aspirants at Naveen Nibas with hope of entering into electoral politics in the upcoming elections, his father and a self-proclaimed Biju loyalist Damodar Rout embraced the saffron bandwagon in New Delhi in search of a new political ambition after measurably failed to launch his own political outfit to take on the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik-led invincible BJD.
The 78-year old leader, who often mocked the BJP saying that ‘Lotus (the symbol of BJP) can’t bloom in saline water in Odisha and criticized the policies of the Modi government and challenged the leadership of BJP’s so-called chief ministerial candidate Dharmendra Pradhan, has finally joined the BJP in order to revive his political fortune, which has been hanging precariously ever since he was expelled from the BJD for his anti-party activities and a series of irrational and raciest comments.
It is well known that the Paradip MLA had left no stone unturned to prove his mettle in Odisha politics after the excepted end of his comfort roller-coaster ride in the BJD for nearly 18 years. Perhaps, Rout was one of the very few leaders to have served as a Cabinet minister for more than 12 years holding vital portfolios under the BJD government.
The veteran leader’s self-proclaimed anti-corruption fight against the ruling BJD had drastically failed to create any impact on the people. Rather, he faced backlash in most of the public forums where he addressed. The popularity of Rout has constantly dwindled in his own constituency since his exit from the BJD.
Rout desperately tried to take the shelter of Biju legacy and wanted to float a party based on that legacy to save his political career. He ran from pillar to post to bring Biju followers under one platform to take on the BJD, but he completely failed in his mission.
With elections just round the corner and his political career is at high risk, Rout joined the BJP in the presence of Dharmendra Pradhan and other BJP leaders.
Interestingly, Rout once threw an open challenge to Pradhan saying that he would contest against him in the next elections irrespective of the constituencies he chooses. It’s different thing that Rout was in the BJD then, but his attack on Pradhan was very impactful.
What is more shocking, the BJP, which was criticizing Rout, bringing his effigies and demanding his expulsion from the ministry for his casteist and anti-women remarks over the past years, has now accepted him into their fold. This shows it was just crocodile tears of the BJP and both the BJP and Rout do not have any ethical standpoint is clear from this event today.