Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, Aug 31:
Senior Congress leader Sitakant Mohapatra has joined the bandwagon of other senior leaders of the party levelling allegations against the Odisha Congress leadership for selling of tickets during the last elections and said the party did not learn any lesson from its past mistakes.
In a missive to AICC general secretary and Odisha in-charge of Congress BK Hariprasad, Mohapatra alleged that Congress tickets were sold to inexperienced people – contractors and mafias. This had been reflected in Antony committee report on the party’s poll debacle, he said.
Noting that the same thing had happened in the 2009 elections, he said the party did not learn from its mistake and allowed things to be repeated this time as well.
Mohapatra also alleged that neither the then Congress in-charge for Odisha Jagdish Tytler nor Hariprasad took any tangible steps against indiscipline among party leaders despite the warning of Rahul Gandhi.
“Many rebels fought against official Congress candidates as independent candidates in the districts of Koraput, Balasore and Jajpur in 2009. In the Rajya Sabha election in 2010, three MLAs cross-voted. But no disciplinary action was taken against any of them. It was duly informed to you. Similarly all these undisciplined and violent anti party activities were submitted to Jajdish Tytler. Neither Tytler ji nor you took any appropriate steps or raised these serious matters before the high command and both of you suppressed all this indiscipline for which Congress is now in this miserable position,” said Mohapatra in his letter.
As no action was taken against party leaders for their anti-party activities, the protectors became the tormentors and it opened room for sale of all intangible assets like the goodwill of the general public and prepared the ground for sale of tickets.
He said the sale of ticket was pointed out by Jairam Ramesh in Kendrapada at a public meeting. In an interaction with youth Congress and seniors party leaders in Bhubaneswar in 2014, party vice president Rahul Gandhi had claimed that about 50% of Congress tickets were sold in the 2009 general election and had assured that it will never be allowed to be repeated in the 2014 election, the senior Congress leader pointed out.