Pradeep Pattanayak

The state unit of Congress has recently witnessed several incidents starting from ink-attack on the PCC chief to Congress Bhawan being under lock for nine days, suggesting the party has been devoid of a helmsman. 

Nine days after being locked, the Congress Bhawan was opened on Tuesday. But there was no usual activity. The PCC’s office was also vacant. 

With the state unit’s nine-to-ninety slogan in the general elections falling flat, the five leaders who have been expelled for six years are not hesitating to speak against the chief. Some days ago, senior leader Jayadev Jena indirectly demanded that PCC chief Sarat Pattanayak should resign on moral grounds. Yesterday the leaders who have been expelled from the party over ink-attack staged a demonstration in front of Congress Bhawan, burning the PCC chief’s photo. 

“Sarat Pattanayak is a jinx for the Congress. He has been contesting unsuccessfully for the last 25 years. He fought elections while joining hands with the BJP and the BJD,” said Prakash Mishra, a suspended leader. 

Meanwhile, the sit-in launched by Shreeyasmita Panda, an expelled leader, entered its 10th day on Tuesday. 

“He is not coming to the office because he has received money from others,” said Panda. 

Meanwhile, senior Congress leader Bijay Patnaik condemned the ink attack on the PCC chief. 

“Ink-attack on the PCC chief while he was in his office is a condemnable incident. These acts are not suitable at all as it is a national party. No one can paralyse it. The decisions as to who will be the PCC chief, when someone will be replaced etc. are taken by the AICC,” said Patnaik. 

On the other hand, when contacted, Sarat Pattanayak said, “The election was over on June 4. And I intimated everything to the AICC. The high command will now take whatever decision concerning the PCC chief.”

Also Read: BJP, Congress workers clash in Bhubaneswar 

According to political analyst Akshaya Sahu, the party seems to be guardianless. 

“After the result declaration, he (Sarat Pattanayak) had requested the AICC to free him from the present responsibility. So, the party is now devoid of a head. The ongoing happenings are expected to come to an end after the joining of a new head.”

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