Biramaharajpur (Sonepur), Dec 6:
Crisis has deepened further in the district Congress following the expulsion of four senior leaders of Sonepur for extending their support to former party MP and chairman of Ama Odisha during the latter’s Sankalp Samavesh here.
At a press briefing at Maitree Sadan here on Thursday, the four expelled leaders— Rajgopal Panigrahi, Block Congress president and Zilla Parishad member, Bhubaneswar Mishra, vice president of Zilla Congress, Laba Kumar Mishra, general secretary of Zilla Congress and senior party leader Surendra Pati— came down heavily on the PCC chief Jayadev Jena.
They alleged that Jena has been behaving in an autocratic manner and expelling party leaders and workers who have made sincere efforts to strengthen the party at the grass roots level.
Citing several instances, the expelled leaders said the PCC chief and his coterie had conspired against Soumya Ranjan Patnaik out of jealousy and seen to it that he is ejected from the party.
After his expulsion, Soumya Ranjan Patnaik announced his new political outfit Ama Odisha and organized a Sankalp Yatra here on November 25 where nearly 15,000 Congress workers and local people extended full support to him.
” After we took part in that massive rally, based on the recommendation of District Congress president Ashok Pujahari, the PCC president expelled us from the primary membership of the party for six years. The inability of the Congress to field its candidate in the just concluded civic body polls has exposed the weak leadership of the District Congress president and his tacit understanding with the ruling BJD”, claimed the four expelled Congress leaders.
They said Soumya Ranjan was targeted after he addressed a Sankalp Samavesh here on August 7 where he had exhorted party workers to strengthen the party at the grassroots level.
They also alleged that the PCC chief is dancing to the tune of those leaders who were trying their best to wipe out the Congress party in Odisha.
Terming the decision of the PCC president to expel them as unfortunate and suicidal, they said he has taken a wrong step without realising what impact it will have on the district unit of the party.
“Since he taking over as the PCC chief, the plight of the Congress in Odisha has gone from bad to worse. The urban local body (ULB) elections held recently bear testimony to the inept leadership of Jena. Even in his home constituency of Anandpur, the Congress lost its entity while the Independents have formed the NAC council. Taking all these into consideration, Jena should resign from his post owning moral responsibility”, they pointed out.
The four expelled party leaders said that in an attempt to hide his wrong-doings, Jena is trying to show off by suspending and expelling with the party workers.
“If the PCC chief continues to behave this way, the day is not far off when he would find himself a loner in the party”, they said while announcing they would lend total support to Soumya Ranjan Patnaik.
Among others, former District Students Congress president Samanta Patra and chairman of Block Congress Seva Dal Garib Dandasena were present.