Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, Aug 22:
While the Odisha PCC leadership is is running scared of holding an introspection meeting to find out the real causes behind the humiliating defeat of the party in the twin polls held in April this year, senior party leader Sarat Rout, perceived to have been a close associate of the PCC president Jayadev Jena, today appealed to the Congress high command to expel former PCC president Niranjan Patnaik from the party for ‘causing his defeat’ in the Sukinda assembly constituency.
“I met Sonia Gandhi and urged her to expel the former PCC president Niranjan Patnaik from the party for having ensured my defeat in the Sukinda constituency. Many people have conspired against me and prominent among them is Patnaik. He had tried every trick to defeat me and the party in Sukinda. He had propped up a rebel candidate from within the party to contest against me. He had also supported the Aama Odisha Party candidate and asked Congress people not to vote for me. So, I demanded Patnaik’s expulsion from the party,” Rout told reporters after meeting Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi.
However, the former PCC chief Niranjan Patnaik mocked at Rout for his ‘baseless allegations’ and said some leaders within the party are pursuing their own selfish interest instead of trying to strengthen the party.
“If I caused his defeat this time, who all were responsible for his defeat in the last four elections ?” he asked.
“It’s because of this kind of irresponsible and selfish attitude, that the Congress scored a duck in Parliamentary poll and managed to win only 16 seats in the Assembly this time. There are some people who want me to become the PCC president and then there are some others who want to throw me out of the party. There are some leaders within the party, who do not want to the party to be strengthened and united. They only want to pursue their own narrow interests and agenda,” said Patnaik.