Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar/Dhenkanal, Oct 15:
The political Fahrenheit in Odisha Congress has witnessed an upward trend with state party leaders proposing bigger responsibilities for old guards and bring expelled leader Soumya Ranjan Patnaik back into the party fold.
During his Delhi visit, Congress MLA from Sundargarh Jogesh Kumar Singh proposed AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi to revoke expulsion and re-induct Aama Odisha party chief Soumya Ranjan Patnaik into the party in order to strengthen the grand old party.
Singh has also dubbed that expulsion of Soumya Ranjan from the party as a “mistake.”
“Soumya Ranjan Patnaik is a social worker, he has several organizations. He was organizing programmes for the Congress to strengthen the party. Expelling him from the party was a mistake,” said Singh to mediapersons.
Singh was among the five Congress MLAs who have met Rahul Gandhi in Delhi yesterday separately on getting a call from the party high command. Sources said the other MLAs who have also met Rahul are Naba Das, Anshuman Mohanty, Subal Sahu and Krushna Chandra Sagaria.
“While I was trying to strengthen the party all of a sudden I was served with the expulsion notice. I am yet to know why I was expelled. Therefore, those who had expelled me should realize that it was a mistake committed. Have they realized? They should first realize that it was a mistake. Only then can the question of reconsideration arise,” commented Soumya Ranjan in his reactions to newsmen on Singh’s statement.
The Sundergarh MLA has also suggested greater role for former Pradesh Congress Committee chief Niranjan Patnaik in the party during his talks with Rahul.
“At the time when Niranjan Patnaik was the party chief, the party’s organizational strength had grown. If he is given some role in the party, the Congress party will surely revive. The Congress will surely bounce back to power if we can unite all senior leaders,” expressed Singh.
On the other hand, former PCC president Niranjan Patnaik has said that he had no idea of MLAs batting for an important post for him in the party. He said all should work together to strengthen Congress.
“I have no idea about why they have gone or for what they have gone. I have no information on that and have only seen it on TV. Now the time has come for strengthening Congress and we are doing that collectively,” said Niranjan Patnaik.
It may be recalled that former Odisha Chief Minister late Janaki Ballav Patnaik had created a whirlwind in the state after his comment of bringing back the senior leaders back into the party, on his arrival here post completion of his tenure as Assam Governor. The comment of the Congress veteran was viewed as a hint towards his son-in-law Soumya Ranjan’s possible return to the party.