Odisha Congress divided on Lulu Sena issue

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Bhubaneswar: With the senior Congress leader engaging in the war of words on the formation of Lulu Sena by senior party leader Lalatendu Bidyadhar Mohapatra, the Disciplinary Committee of the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) has decided to seek the advice of the All India Congress Committee (AICC).

While some senior leaders have termed the action of Mahapatra as a violation of party discipline, others have questioned the modus operandi of the OPCC president Prasad Harichandan.

“Too many cooks spoil the broth. I sincerely want such untoward situations should never happen,” former OPCC president Niranjan Patnaik told OTV today.

The statement of Patnaik has come ahead of the first meeting of the newly-formed PCC team.

Referring to the jumbo-sized PCC team, he said no emphasis has been given on the background of the new PCC members some of whom think that that they are also equal or better than the senior and experienced leaders.

“It is obvious for the party leaders to grumble as they have been left out of the PCC team despite their proven ability,” he pointed out.

Dubbing the PCC Coordination Committee as an old age home which has old leaders like him, Patnaik said previously the Coordination Committee was comprised of the members of Congress Legislature Party (CLP) and the members of the party’s organisation unit.

“If I were in his (Harichadan) place, I would have never formed such a huge committee and preferred to remain within the rules,” he claimed.

Asked whether the new PCC chief has sought the permission of the party high command to form a committee of such magnitude, Patnaik said he has never seen such a committee. “May be they have got the permission of the AICC,” he guessed.

Commenting on the statement of Patnaik, Congress chief whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati asked whether the former PCC chief was able to satisfy all PCC members during his tenure.

“When Niranjan Babu was the PCC president, I could not be the PCC member despite being an MLA. Let the new PCC chief be given the opportunity to organise the party”, he said.

Senior Congress leader and former Union minister Kanhu Charan Lenka said he has suggested the PCC chief to increase the number of PCC secretary.

Commenting on the remarks of Patnaik, Lenka said the former PCC chief has thoroughly misinterpreted the meaning of the proverb he has quoted.

Replying to a question on formation of Lulu Sena, chairperson of PCC Disciplinary Committee, Sandhya Mohapatra said the committee would not remain silent and take action against the indiscipline behaviour of any party leader.

“As far as I know, no such incident has happened. If it comes to my notice, I will inform the AICC Disciplinary Committee,” she added.

On Lulu Sena issue, PCC spokesperson Debasis Patnaik said the party workers should be guided by the direction of the PCC president and refrain from any activity which would tarnish his position.

However, the PCC president refused to say anything on the issue to the media.

It is worthwhile here to mention that the AICC has expelled senior Congress leader Soumya Ranjan Patnaik from the party on the recommendation of the PCC Disciplinary committee for launching a new outfit Ama Odisha in October, 2013.

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