Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Nov 19:
A day after Congress leader Bapi Sarkhel was arrested for his alleged involvement with the murder of Seaways Shipping General Manager Mahendra Swain, Odisha unit of Congress today appeared a divided house in their support for the man who contested Assembly polls in 2014 on its ticket from Paradip.
Even though a three-member team of PCC met the arrested leader in jail today, PCC President Prasad Harichandan preferred a neutral stance over the arrest and said, “Law will take its own course”.
His father-in-law and senior Congress leader Suresh Routray, instead, preferred to go on an offensive against the State Government.
Speaking to reporters, Routray said, “This is not the first such case. Earlier Ramesh Jena was arrested. This government is vengeful and is arresting Congress leaders to contain its own downfall before the upcoming panchayat polls. Bapi Sarkhel has been arrested intentionally and vengefully. He should be released,” said Routray.
“Only time will tell if he is involved in the incident. It would not be appropriate to comment beforehand. However, if will be a very serious affair and painful one at that, if he found to be involved,” opined former PCC President Niranjan Patnaik.
Meanwhile, Sarkhel’s local supporters and Paradip unit of Congress came out in full support of their leader and alleged that the State Government has arrested him on directions of local BJD MLA and Excise Minister Damodar Rout to balance political scores.