"There is absolutely no threat to Naveen Patnaik from me. He is completely safe as chief minister as he is the leader of the BJD," Mohapatra, who is regarded as chief adviser and strategist of the ruling BJD, told reporters here scotching speculation about possible revolt in the party.
Claiming that he had no aspiration to become Chief Minister, Mohapatra said there was no move at all to topple the government headed by Patnaik. "Had I wanted to become Chief Minister I could have tried long ago instead of waiting for so many years ... I could have tried in 2009 also," the former bureaucrat turned Rajya Sabha MP said.
He said the Chief Minister had called him last night from abroad and enquired about several legislators gathering at his house and he explained to Patnaik that there was no formal meeting and that some MLAs had visited his house only to discuss their grievances and party matters.
Referring to the chief minister's reported remark deploring last night's developments, he said Patnaik's comment was a result of "misleading" information given to him by some party leaders, who also held a meeting at Naveen Niwas as a "panic reaction" late last night.
Patnaik had last night deplored the attempts to divide the party. "I understand that, in my absence, an MP of my party is stirring trouble against my state government. And also trying to divide the Biju Janata Dal. This is deplorable," Patnaik had told PTI in London.
However, Mohapatra admitted he had differences with Patnaik as he felt that the state government was gradually "losing control due to arrogance of bureaucrats". "I had drawn the attention of the chief minister to this trend but little action has been taken. As a result, arrogance of bureaucrats is increasing day by day," he claimed.