The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD), on Monday, refrained from directly supporting West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee but did call for “professionalism in the CBI” while noting that its actions even in Odisha smacked of political motives.

The action of the CBI before the panchayat elections in Odisha and closer to the general elections now is unprofessional and politically motivated, said the BJD in its reaction here on Monday.

Clearly, the powers that be in Odisha, for their own “safety”, did not want the party to be aggressive or direct in its criticism of the central government or central agency.

The rather meek reaction prompted the political circles to allege that bureaucrats who are calling the shots in the party and the government here are scared of the CBI turning the heat on them hence the halfhearted and middle of the road reaction.

The BJD, in its guarded reaction, said, “Institutional integrity has to be restored after all this infighting (In the CBI).”

“Even in Odisha, sudden action of CBI just before the panchayat and general elections smacks of unprofessional conduct and political motives,” said the BJD statement issued on Monday.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, however, refused to react which has surprised many observers since he had only recently projected himself to be a champion of federalism and chided Congress circles here.

Telangana Chief Minister KC Rao had recently called on Naveen Patnaik and talked about the Federal Front, and after meeting him went to West Bengal and met Mamata Banerjee.

Veteran Congress leader and MLA, Narasingha Mishra, said CM Naveen Patnaik should publicly support Mamata Banerjee on this issue.

Mishra said democracy is in danger. There is a direct assault on all institutions by the autocratic government at the centre, he charged.

He pointed out at the “language” used by the PM at public meetings and said only a dictatorial person without the minimum decency would use such language against political rivals.

The action of the CBI in Bengal is illegal and despicable, he added.