Bhubaneswar. Aug 13:
A day after being served a show cause notice by the disciplinary committee of the state Congress for alleged anti-party activities, a defiant Soumya Ranjan Patnaik has made it clear that he is not backing off on his ‘Sankalp Abhijan’ which, among other things, invited the wrath of the party bosses.
“This is a humble effort to raise the morale of the party cadres at the grassroots level and strengthen the organisation in the process. I see no reason why some people are so perturbed by it? If anybody should be unhappy about the Sankalp Abhijan, it should be the BJD and not the Congress,” Patnaik said on Tuesday. He revealed that that he was yet to receive the show cause notice served on him by the disciplinary committee yesterday.
The senior Congress leader has indicated that the next Sankalp rally in Bhadrak on Wednesday would go ahead as scheduled. Four more rallies are scheduled to take place in Nayagarh, Balasore, Rourkela and Bargarh in the coming few days.
Meanwhile, the tug-of-war in the state Congress is getting curiouser by the hour with the PCC chief Jayadev Jena and disciplinary committee member Sarat Rout lashing out at senior leader Lalatendu Bidyadhar (Lulu) Mohapatra for his open defence of Soumya Ranjan.
“Whoever has said that the disciplinary committee cannot take action against an AICC member is a fool,” Rout said in reaction to Mohapatra’s comment yesterday without naming him.
Mohapatra was quick to hit back. ‘It seems he is a Maha Pandit, an incarnation of Kalidas,” a sarcastic Lulu said when his attention was drawn to Rout’s comment about him. “Is he the party president? How can he determine who will hold a meeting or not? As long as the meeting does not run counter to the party line, anybody can hold a meeting,” he said.
PCC president Jena, while declining to comment on Mohapatra’s defiant comment, said, “The disciplinary committee knows what it is doing and what its powers are.”
Lulu had ruffled quite a few feathers in the party by coming out in open support of Soumya Ranjan and making counter charges against ‘a member and the chairman of the disciplinary committee’ for working towards defeating the former Bhubaneswar MP in the last elections. “Let that be investigated first,” he had said without naming the member or the chairman of the committee, Harihar Karan.
Observers foresee a realignment of forces within the party’s state unit in the wake of the show cause notice served on Patnaik.