Four-time BJD MP from Odisha, Tathagata Satpathy, on Tuesday announced his retirement from politics to "refocus" on journalism. Satpathy's announcement came a day after his former party colleague in Lok Sabha Baijayant Panda joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). While Panda had resigned from the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) as well as the Lok Sabha due to differences with party president and chief minister Naveen Patnaik, Satpathy's decision has surprised all.
Son of former Odisha Chief Minister Nandini Satpathy, Tathagata Satpathy is a Lok Sabha MP from Dhenkanal constituency of the state. "There is a need for more fearless voices in journalism now. Distancing myself from politics to refocus on journalism. Grateful to my leader Shri Naveen Patnaik for his support all these years. Realised that politics is not the only means to support people," Satpathy said on twitter.
Satpathy edits two dailies, one in Odia and the other in English-- 'Orissa Post'. Stating that he respects Patnaik and the people of Dhenkanal and Angul for their love and affection, Satpathy said there was no specific political reason behind his decision.
He further said that he was planning to meet Patnaik and apprise him about his decision to not contest elections anymore.
To a query, the 62-year-old editor-turned-politician said: "I am taking this decision as per the wish of my 13-year-old son. I am not the person on whom any pressure can work." "My son wants me to stay at home, focus on journalism and not to contest election," he added.
He further said it was time that people who were now old and had been elected multiple times should step down to make way for new ideas and new policy makers.
The Dhenkanal MP also made it clear that he would not join any other political party as he had great respect for Patnaik.
Replying a question, Satpathy dismissed speculation about his wife being fielded as a BJD candidate from Dhenkanal. "No, nothing like that. I want to make it clear that my wife will not contest the elections," he said.
Satpathy also rejected suggestions that his decision was based on possibility of not getting a ticket for the 2019 elections.
Known as an independent-minded leader, Satpathy, said he also does not support the idea that children of politicians should also enter politics.