Odisha Sun Times Political Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Feb 28:
Leader of Opposition and senior Congress leader Bhupinder Singh has remained incommunicado since Wednesday night amid speculations that he may have quit his party following serious differences with the top leaders of the state unit.
There are unconfirmed reports that Singh has already put in his papers and that he is contemplating joining the ruling Biju Janata Dal which is ready to offer him the ticket for the Kalahandi Lok Sabha seat.
According to sources in the Congress, Singh, a hardcore party loyalist, was subjected to humiliation by the PCC president Jayadev Jena, Union minister Srikant Jena and even the AICC general secretary in charge of Odisha BK Hariprasad over issues relating to distribution of party tickets.
Singh had earlier got into a war of words with the sitting MP from Kalahandi Bhaktacharan Das after he expressed his desire to contest the Kalahandi Lok Sabha seat. Reports say Das, with the help of leaders who rule the roost in the state Congress today, had tried to push Singh into a corner and humiliate him on every issue that he chose to take up in the party.
There are also reports that at one stage Singh was asked by Das and Jena duo to resign as the Leader of Opposition.
A clear picture about Singh’s political status will be known “only after he speaks out,” a source close to the Leader of Opposition said today.
However, another version of the story is also doing rounds in the Congress circle. According to some party insiders, senior leaders of the party including an MP have complained to the AICC about Singh’s ‘dubious’ role in the last Rajya sabha elections. He has been accused of being part of an ‘undesirable transaction’ during the run up to the Rajya Sabha polls, they said.