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Ramkrushna Patnaik, wife Kumudini quit Congress

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Feb 23:

Veteran leader, former minister and member AICC Ramkrushna Patnaik resigned from the Congress on Saturday. His wife, Kumudini Patnaik who is a former MP from Aska, too has resigned from the party.

The Patnaiks in their resignation letters sent to PCC president Jayadev Jena, have expressed their displeasure over the manner in which the party is being run by a coterie.

Talking to reporters on Sunday, Ramkrushna Patnaik, popularly known as the Ganjam Tiger, said he and his wife Kumudini Patnaik had informed the OPCC as well as the AICC as early as January 25 that they would not be interested in contesting the 2014 elections. He said many of his proposals to help activate the party at the grass roots level had been ignored by the party bosses.

His wife Kumudini Patnaik said she had agreed to contest the coming Lok Sabha polls after the party leadership requested her to reconsider her decision not to contest.

” I had agreed to be a candidate after they persuaded me subject to the condition that they do not ignore the claims of people who are solidly behind us,” she said, adding, they had not made up their mind about their next move.

” We may not contest in the coming elections and that seems likely,” she said.

Political observers, however, believe the resignation of the Patnaik couple may have followed the OPCC’s decision to field the son of a former Congress MP from Aska in place of Mrs Patnaik. This will impact on the political scenario not only in the Aska Lok Sabha constituency but in Ganjam district as a whole, they said.

There is speculation that the Patnaiks may drift towards their old party, the Biju Janata Dal, although the couple have so far refused to give any indication of their future plans.