On Wednesday, reacting to Agriculture Minister's statement on CM Naveen Patnaik considering waiving off farm loan, Rout stirred a hornet's nest stating that ''farmers do not utilise the farm loan for the right purposes but for marrying off daughters and consuming liquor.'' However, after protests from the BJP and the CM refuting it as 'incorrect', Rout was fast enough to change his statement on Thursday.
He bowed to pressure or did a damage control is for anyone to guess but he mended by saying his intention was not to point at the farmers but the land owners. ''I have always demanded loans for farmers, particularly share croppers. I meant the loan is being handed over to the land owners and not the actual farmers who work in the fields,'' he justified.
Earlier too, Rout has made a volte face on many of his remarks. He also faults at many public functions while detailing data relating to the state or otherwise. But that does not make him rein his tongue. He wears a 'care- a-damn' corsage with non chalance like none other in the party and that lands him in trouble many a time.
A few days back, his statement on the Assembly floor, that he ceases to be the 'most efficient' minister because ''it is very difficult to run a 'democratic government under bureaucratic influence," shook the entire system. Though this is a common perception among all sections of people, Rout was the one to spell it out to a filled House.