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IAS-turned-politician in Odisha BJP asks party workers to ‘work united or leave’

A video featuring former Odisha cadre IAS officer and BJP leader Aparajita Sarangi in which she is asking workers to “either work for the party or leave” has gone viral on social media.

Sarangi, a 1994-batch IAS officer and former joint secretary in union rural development ministry joined BJP last month after taking voluntary retirement. Known for her no-nonsense image, Sarangi is likely to be a prominent face of the party in the run-up to the assembly polls in April next year.

However, the former bureaucrat seems to have taken a strong dislike to alleged groupism in the Odisha BJP. In a video of her interactions with party workers, Aparajita is seen standing at a meeting and asking, “Don’t you feel ashamed of the party’s loss time and again? Instead of making strategies to win the polls, why you are indulging in groupism? Why don’t you say that you are from the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP)? Whoever will be the candidate fielded by the party, it is our duty to make them win, or else you quit the party,” she was seen saying in the video.

“I have no association with anyone in the party. I am telling you, I don’t belong to anyone’s group in the BJP. I have joined the party after realising the party’s stand on development and being inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. I have been saying it in media. And you will see that I will not be linked with any particular person or group in the party in the next 25-30 years,” Sarangi was seen saying this in the video.

Sarangi, who is likely to contest from Bhubaneswar Lok Sabha constituency, has been touring several parts of Khurda district over the last fortnight meeting people. Unlike other BJP leaders who are vehement in their criticism of chief minister Naveen Patnaik on social media, Sarangi has been very measured, choosing to attack the policies of the BJD government rather than the CM. She has also started her own website in which she wrote that BJD’s lasting contribution to Odisha was perpetuation of poverty.

The former IAS officer did not respond to queries about the video. However, BJP leader Subash Chouhan said Sarangi has just entered politics after leaving bureaucracy. “BJP has a particular structure. So all leaders should follow it,” said Chouhan.

First Published: Dec 20, 2018 00:03 IST

Source: HindustanTimes