Bhubaneswar: Odisha Congress today suspended MLA Suresh Kumar Routray’s son Manmath Routray from the party for alleged gross violation of discipline.
The action was taken by the Discipline Action Committee Chairman of Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee MLA Santosh Singh Saluja after Manmath failed to reply to a show cause notice served to him on his recent statement in the media.
According to reports, Manmath was a member of Congress. However, he had been refusing his connection with the party.
Recently, he had told the media that he was independent and had no link with any political party.
“Though you are a PCC member, you have particularly said that you don’t belong to Indian National Congress. You have also said that you are free to visit BJP office and BJD office. You were served a show cause notice yesterday, but you did not respond to it,” the OPCC’s suspension order stated.
Reacting to the Congress’ move, Manmath termed both the show cause notice and suspension letter ‘illegal’.
Manmath, who is a trained pilot, said, “First of all, I am not a member of Congress. Despite knowing the fact that I am a service holder, the party added my name illegally without taking my consent. Why should I reply to the show cause notice? What’s my fault? I am free to make my statement in media.”
Clarifying his stand, he said, “I have been stating in media that I am a central government employee, a pilot in Air India, which was taken over by an MNC. I cannot be part of any political outfit. If my name was proposed to be enrolled in the PCC, the party could have enquired about me. Who accepted my membership proposal? When I am not a member of the party, how could the Action Committee serve me a show cause notice. As I am not a member of the PCC, serving a show cause notice and suspension order is considered to be illegal.”
He said that he had resigned from job around 2.5 months ago. Currently, he is no the notice period.
“I will be eligible to take further course of action after getting clearance from my job in September as per the office rules. However, the Congress included my name in its membership list without my permission.
Lambasting the state unit of Congress, he said, “It’s not a joke. Congress is a national party. It should have made proper inquiry before enrolling someone’s name into its register. I was not surprised to see such move by Congress. I was waiting for this situation when the Action Committee will commit the mistake. In fact, I was silent and assessing the party’s maturity and analytics. The party made mistake by including my name. They repeated the mistake by issuing suspension letter. It’s hence proved that none in the party is doing research, observing the situation and taking action desperately without understanding. If the history of the party will be analysed, only groupism will be found. In that case, I think 90 percent members of the should have been suspended.”
“I had never been a member of the Congress, nor had I ever applied to become member of the party. I would like to express my gratitude to that person who had proposed my name. I do not know, whether my father or somebody else had given the proposal.
When asked about his opinion that mismatches with his father’s statement, he said that he owes everything to his father. However, he has decided not to backtrack his statement.
In a statement, Manmath had told that he will not fight 2024 election from his father’s Assembly Constituency Jatni on Congress ticket.
“I have decided not to fight the election from Jatni on a Congress ticket in 2024. I have taken the decision after conducting a survey in Jatni. I will reveal my future course of action in October this year. I may contest the election from any other party,” he told media.
He said that his father might not vote for him if he would fight the election from any other party.
Earlier, Sura Routray had announced that he would retire from electoral politics in 2024 and his younger son Manmath would fight the Assembly election on a Congress ticket from his constituency.