Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Aug 23:
Senior Congress leader and Opposition chief whip in the Odisha Assembly Taraprasad Bahinipati today dropped a bombshell indicating that he may quit from his post after the current session of the Assembly.
“Why should the Congress suffer losses for me? Gandhi family’s decision and the Congress’s decision is my decision. I am not interested to remain in the chief whip’s post anymore,” said a hurt Bahininpati speaking to the media here today.
“I will take a final decision on this after meeting the PCC president, the state’s AICC in-charge and the Leader of the Opposition after the current session of the Assembly,” said the Congress MLA from Jeypore.
“Nobody has pressurized me. Neither Hariprasad has pressurized me nor has the High Command, nobody has put pressure on me. On being asked by some friends. I have told them perhaps this is my last session as the Opposition chief whip,” said Bahinipati.
Making it clear that no Congress MLA has pressurized him either, Bahinipati said: “I don’t want to be insulted. If some friends are interested in posts, why should I be an obstacle on their path? I had never asked for it, the High Command had bestowed it on me. I have no demands even today. I will respect and welcome whatever decision is taken by the High Command. I have not discussed the matter with the party president or with the Leader of the Opposition either with the state pravari (in-charge) on this account. I will take a decision after speaking to them on conclusion of the current Assembly session. Repeated visits to Delhi have cost the party. As a senior MLA it’s my duty to keep everyone in peace.”
Bahinipati’s briefing to the media has set tongues wagging of infighting within the Congress in the state and all fingers are pointing to the Delhi visit of 12 MLAs of the party, who had allegedly gone to complain against Bahinipati before the High Command. Jharsuguda MLA Naba Das is said to be contender for the Opposition chief whip’s post.