Reported by Chinmay Dehury / Edited by Sandeep Sahu
Bhubaneswar, Sep 25:
All India Congress Committee (AICC) is all set to crack the whip against dissidents for anti-party activities that allegedly led to the debacle of the Congress in the recently concluded urban local body (ULB) polls in Odisha. It is likely to take action against some senior leaders, including former Bhubaneswar MP Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, within the next two days.
This was revealed by Union minister for Rural Development Jairam Ramesh here on Wednesday.
“We will crack the whip against the dissidents in the party soon. The party is paramount and nobody is above the party. If any individual thinks that he is above the party, then he is free to leave the party,” said Ramesh at a press conference here adding that the party would not tolerate any indiscipline.
Ramesh said, “We will not tolerate multiple centres of power in the Congress. Congress is one organization and PCC president has the full authority to act against dissidents.”
Even though the Union minister visited the state ostensibly to highlight the benefits of the land acquisition bill recently passed in the Parliament, the visit assumed significance since it comes days after the urban poll debacle, which the PCC chief has blamed on dissident activities.
Ramesh had a closed door meeting with some senior leaders, including PCC president Jaydev Jena, former chief minister Giridhari Gamang and leader of opposition Bhupindar Singh. They discussed possible action against the dissidents.
In an apparent reference to JB Patnaik, former chief minister and present Governor of Assam, Ramesh said there must be a time limit to remain in politics. Though he did not name anybody, he seemed to suggest JB Patnaik had links with the party dissidents.
Jaydev Jena had earlier said that the party will take action against rebel candidates and those who fielded candidates against official candidates in the ULBs polls.
Besides, the disciplinary action committee of the state Congress has already recommended action against Soumya Ranjan Patnaik charging him with anti-party activities.
Patnaik is organizing a Sankalpa Abhijan across the state, which is viewed by the Congress leadership as a parallel organization in the party.