Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, Feb 28:
The shroud of mystery over the disappearance of Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh continued on Friday with no word on where he could be.
PCC president Jayadev Jena, who is in New Delhi for the screening committee meeting of party, said he had called Singh on his mobile, but found it switched off.
With the Leader of Opposition remaining incommunicado since Wednesday, all kinds of theories are doing the rounds about the possible reason for his sudden disappearance.
No one in the Congress knows for sure if Singh has resigned or is planning to resign from the Congress as is being speculated.
The PCC president said he had not received any such communication from Singh while other leaders are finding it hard to believe that the MLA from Narla could resign from the party with which he had an association of a lifetime.
“A senior leader like Bhupindar Singh cannot think of quitting the Congresseven in his dreams. His career started from the party and will end in the party. I don’t believe such rumours,” said Lalatendu Bidyadhar Mohapatra.
Senior Congress leader Niranjan Patnaik said if such a development had indeed taken place, it is most ‘unfortunate’.
The Leader of Opposition was supposed to attend the screening committee meeting at New Delhi to finalise candidates for Assembly constituencies in the state.
Other Congress leaders are also not sure over his resignation.
As rumour mills are churning out stories of Bhupinder exiting Congress and joining the ruling BJD, the regional party reacted cautiously on the issue.
“Bhupindar Singh is a very respectable leader. Let him first resign from the Congress and make his stand clear; whether he would support BJD or BJP or form a new party like Kiran Reddy did in Andhra Pradesh,” said BJD vice-president Kalpataru Das.
Another vice-president of BJD Dr Damodar Rout said, “Acceptance of Bhupinder Singh in BJD will be more surprising than his quitting the Congress.”