Bhubaneswar, June 1 - Cutting short his UK visit after reports of revolt in the party in his absence, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today held a series of meetings with BJD leaders, some of whom claimed there was an attempt to topple the government during a meeting at party MP Pyari Mohan Mohapatra's house here.
A senior party leader said that besides interacting with leaders in groups, the chief minister held one-to-one meetings with party MLAs, including about 20 of those who had attended the meeting at the house of Mohapatra, a long-time strategist and adviser of ruling BJD.
"Yes, there was an attempt to topple the government in the absence of Naveen Patnaik when he was away in Britain. It was revealed by many BJD MLAs who attended the meeting at Mohapatra's house on Tuesday night", senior BJD leader and former minister Damodar Rout told reporters here.
Rout said most of the legislators further informed that they were asked to put their signature on a paper with some claiming that the exercise was aimed at giving their consent for making Mohapatra the BJD legislature party leader.
"I had been called to Pyari babu's house. When I reached there I saw others. I was asked to sign on a paper and later I found that it was meant for obtaining consent of MLAs for making Mohapatra the BJD legislature party leader", claimed Sushant Singh, MLA from Bhatli.
To a query, Rout also said the Congress had no role in the reported game plan to topple the Naveen government.
Mohapatra, who was not immediately available today for comment had, however, claimed at a press conference here on Wednesday that there was no plan to topple the government and Patnaik was safe both as chief minister and BJD president. PTI