Reported by Sandeep Sarangi
Bhubaneswar Nov 23:
It was supposed to be an occasion to commemorate the contribution of former Odisha Chief Minister Nabakrushna Choudhury to the making of the state. But instead, the celebration of the 113th birth anniversary of the former Chief Minister by Rajeev Gandhi Forum, Odisha at a city hotel on Sunday turned out to be a forum for political name calling, washing of dirty linen and a precursor of a political realignment.
Trinamool Odisha Convenor and former INC leader Arya Kumar Gyanendra came down heavily on PCC president Jayadev Jena, who left the meeting right after after his speech, for incorrectly addressing him as the general secretary of Trinalmool Congress.
Gyanendra minced no words as he sought to lay the blame on Jena for his departure from the Congress wihout actually saying it in so many words. Curiously though, even as he did so, he paved the way for his return to the party if ‘there was a change of leadership’.
He left no one in any doubt on who his preferred leader would be when he praised former PCC president Niranjan Patnaik for uniting grassroots workers and leaders of the Congress through meetings. For good measure, he surmised that there could be an assembly election in 2016.
This discordant note apart, the progamme went along the line planned with speaker after speaker paying glowing tributes to Nabakushna Choudhury.
Former PCC president and president of the Forum Niranjan Patnaik urged the audience to be inspired by the principles of the Late CM. Ex-Revenue minister Jagannath Patnaik took the audience through a brief life sketch of Choudhury highlighting the achievements of his tenure as CM such as land reforms, abolition of zamindari, setting up of the Rourkela Steel Plant and Hirakud dam and his steps to strengthen vigilance.
Leader of opposition Narasingha Mishra hailed the late CM’s initiatives to make Odia the official language of Odisha and pulled up incumbent CM NaveenPatnaik for his inability to use the official language even in his fourth term of rule. He called upon the audience to choose an Odia speaking chief ministerthe next time they vote.
Journalist Chandan Paikray was felicitated by Mishra on the occasion for his exceptional bravery in catching hold of two miscreants, who were fleeing after snatching a gold chain from a woman near Rajbhavan Square here recently.
Senior Congress leaders uresh Routray, Kanhu Charan Lenka, Jayadev jena, ex-CM Giridhar Gamang, Ex-MP Kharabela Swain, ex-diplomat Abasara Beuria, chief whip of Congress in the assembly Tara Prasad bahinipati and Kalinga Sena President Hemant Rath were also present in the meeting.