Odisha Sun Times Political Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 22;
Former Odisha Chief Minister JB Patnaik today called for the return of the ‘capable people’ who have been thrown out of the party, raising speculation that his comment was aimed at Ama Odisha Party leader Soumya Ranjan Patnaik.
Patnaik, it may be noted, was expelled from the party for six years for alleged anti-party activities in the run up to the last general elections.
‘Many capable people have been thrown out of the Congress. They must be brought back for the party to regain its lost standing,’ the veteran Congress leader said in an interview to leading Odia news channel OTV.
‘Congress used to be a party of intelligent people. But some people have converted it into a ‘math’ and have become ‘mahants’,’ Patnaik said.
The three-time Chief Minister said the Congress needs some ‘young blood’ to infuse life into the moribund party organisation. He hoped that newly appointed PCC chief Prasad Harichandan would resurrect the party from the grassroots.
Asked about JB’s comment, Soumya Ranjan Patnaik declined to say if he would be willing to return to the Congress, but emphasised the point that he had not left the party of his own volition.
‘I did not leave the party. I was thrown out in an extremely humiliating way. Those who did it have got the reply in the last elections. I hope they would now bring about purity in their action and restore the ideals that the Congress has always stood for,’ he said.