Fractured Odisha congress takes out Jagaran Yatra, rivals meet Rahul

Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Angul/Bhubaneswar, Oct 14:

For faction ridden Odisha Congress, it was just another day at work today. As it always happens in the grand old party; while one group was talking about future and taking out a padayatra to connect with the masses, another group was in Delhi attempting to impress the high-command and get a good party position.

PCC PadayatraThe much talked about and rescheduled-earlier yatra, led by PCC President Prasad Harichandan, today took off from Dhokuta in Angul district and ended in Bantala in the first phase.

Attended by the big-wigs of the party including Jayadev Jena, Niranjan Patnaik, Srikant Jena, BK Hariprasad etc, the momentum surely looked like going in favour of congress. At least until evening, when TV channels broke the news of party MLA Naba Das accompanied by three other MLAs(Subal Sahu, Anshuman Mohanty and Jogesh Kumar Singh) meeting Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi in Delhi to seek the position of ‘Opposition Chief Whip’.

The meeting with Rahul Gandhi was true and was confirmed by Jogesh Kumar Singh later.

Even though Singh initially touted it to be a regular meeting, he went on spill the beans indirectly upon further grilling by newsmen.

“The meeting happened and it was a courtesy call. It is all for the betterment of the party. We would like to see Soumya Ranjan Patnaik back in the party fold, Niranjan Patnaik given more important role and Naba Das as opposition Chief Whip,” said Singh out of context.

PCC Chief Prasad Harichandan, however, played down the incident and instead trained his guns against ruling BJD.

“We are all together in our fight against BJD. We had our yatra scheduled earlier and they had a call from center to meet Rahulji. Both are not connected. Our goal is to tell the people of Odisha about the mismanagement & failed governance of BJD led by Naveen Patnaik. Only Congress Party can help the people get rid of BJD misrule,” said Harichandan and went on to accuse BJD for power situation, farmer suicide and everything else.

Ruling BJD, however, didn’t appear to be in back foot. Party spokesperson Pratap Jena was quick to dismiss all the allegations in couple of sentences.

“Whatever congress is doing are its internal affairs. We have nothing to say about it. So far as the allegations made during the rally are concerned, they are absolutely baseless and politically motivated,” said Jena.

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