Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, Mar 8:
Bhupinder Singh, who left the Congress and joined the ruling BJD today, blasted Union Minister Srikant Jena and PCC president Jaydev Jena for bringing the party to ruins. They are working in their own selfish interest, ignoring the party cadres and taking every decision without taking the senior leaders into confidence, he alleged.
“Union Minister Srikant Jena and PCC president do not take the leaders into confidence while taking decision on important matters. Forget consulting me as the leader of opposition, they did even bother informing me while taking major decisions. They selected Rajya Sabha candidate, but did not ask me. Neither was I informed before they took the decision to expel Soumya Ranjan Patnaik. I protested, but they never paid heed. They shifted PEC to New Delhi, I had no information. I am the Leader of Opposition, but don’t have knowledge of party functioning,” said Singh at a press conference here clarifying his stand on quitting the party he has spent a lifetime with.
Singh accused the state leadership of asking him to quit from the post of Congress Legislature Party. They felt the vote share of Congress will increase if it is given to a scheduled caste leader, he alleged.
“When I was asked to resign as the Leader of Opposition, I said why not resign from the primary membership of the party itself. I am pained to inform you that I felt humiliated,” rued Singh.
“The state unit is not functioning as it should function. It should be above caste politics. I found our actions were contrary to what we say in public. Many senior leaders feel neglected; they are not taken into confidence. Even the coordination committee is ignored. The party cannot function on the whims of two or three individuals who do not even subscribe to the party ideology,” read the resignation letter of Singh.
For all the attacking instincts he showed against his former party, however, Singh was extremely defensive when quizzed on how he suddenly found Naveen Patnaik, against whom he was was going hammer and tongs all these years, such a sweet person and ‘good human being’.
“Naveen Patnaik is a good human being. All that I was saying against Naveenji and BJD inside and outside of the state Assembly was as Leader of Opposition. Now I am a BJD man,” he said.
He was also apologetic about the serious charges of corruption against the ruling party in the mining and chit fund scams.
“All the corruption charges are pending in the Supreme Court and once the charges are disproved, Naveen will be a clean man again,” said Singh changing his tone.