Jena-Mishra war of words at Cong executive meet

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Bhubaneswar: The Executive Committee meeting of the State Congress today witnessed a heated exchange of words when senior party leader and former Union minister Srikant Jena lambasted the Leader of Opposition (LoP) Narasingh Mishra over the party’s SC, ST MLAs prostrating in front of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in the Assembly three months back.

While Srikant wanted to know on whose directive the party legislators lay prostrate before the chief minister, Mishra responded saying it was the decision of the Congress legislature party. If the decision was wrong, it can be debated in the party, the LoP added. The heated argument between the two senior leaders continued till the end of the party’s executive committee meeting.

Commenting on the war of words, AICC Secretary Bhakta Charan Das said; “Politeness is also a way of protest. If this has been done from that point of view, I have nothing to say. However, it is important from which angle people are looking at it. I respect the arguments of both the leaders.”

Besides, the executive committee meeting that started at 9.30 am and continued till 2.30 pm also prepared a road map for the ensuing panchayat elections.

As per the decision, senior leaders will supervise preparations for the panchayat poll. Booth committees with 10 members in each of them will be formed and rallies will be held in areas where Mahanadi is flowing, a party source said.

Elaborating on the plans, Chiranjibi Biswal, deputy Opposition leader, said, “In the coming days, the PCC will reach out to the people of the State. A road map has been prepared.”

Meanwhile, Prasad Harichandan, PCC president, said, “Everything from Mahanadi to ration card irregularities, law and order, the Nagada issue and farmers insurance was discussed in the meeting.”

Senior leaders Niranjan Patnaik and Lulu Mohapatra were conspicuously absent in the meeting.

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