- Dilip Ray, Bijoy Mohapatra alleged infighting in the party's Odisha unit
- The leaders said they wouldn't stand "being treated like furniture"
- The said their suggestions had upset "egocentric" leaders
Two senior BJP leaders, Dilip Ray and Bijoy Mohapatra, quit the party in Odisha on Friday, declaring in a joint resignation letter to party president Amit Shah that they would not stand "being treated like furniture". Both were members of the ruling party's national executive.
Dilip Ray and Bijoy Mohapatra alleged infighting in the party's Odisha unit and said several leaders had remained silent fearing they would be denied tickets to contest next year's state election. They said their suggestions had upset "egocentric" leaders.
"The well-meaning suggestions by us to you were construed as a threat by certain egocentric self-servicing individuals who resorted to dirty tricks and a campaign was launched in our respective constituencies to try and deride us," they said in the letter.
"As self-respecting politicians with decades of service to Odisha, we refuse to continue in the party as showpieces. We can't be treated as furniture in the party while the rootless talk big and project a larger than life image," they added.
Silence, they said, was a bad sign for any democracy. "For us, the interest of the state is supreme. We have never ever compromised our self respect or the interest of the state for any post, power or ticket," the two wrote.
Dilip Ray, a lawmaker from Rourkela Assembly constituency, also quit the Odisha Legislative Assembly.
"It is with deep anguish that I have decided to quit as the Member of State Legislative Assembly as well as from the Membership of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)," he tweeted.
On Thursday, senior Odisha leader and union minister Jual Oram had been questioned about the possibility of the two quitting. It would be a "major loss" for the party, he said, but added that the "BJP will try its best to compensate the loss if it happens."