Cracking the whip in a bid to check dissidence within party ranks, Patnaik had earlier suspended Mohapatra from the party and sacked two of his ministers from the government. Venting his anger, Mohapatra, a bureaucrat-turned-key strategist and an advisor to Patnaik for over a decade, said: "I am shocked but not surprised for Patnaik had been planning this for the last three months. This was after he saw my popularity in the panchayat elections and the assembly by-elections preceding that."
Asked whether he would create a division in the party, he said: "No question of my breaking the party. The entire party has been built by my hard labour... labour of lakhs of my workers. I have been running the party for so many years." The sacked ministers are Anjali Behera, Cabinet minister in-charge of Women and Child Development, and Sanjiv Sahu, Minister of Commerce and Transport.
"There are some people around Patnaik who have captured him and now he is on the evil path," Mohapatra said.