Rashmi Ranjan

Amid speculations that former Cuttack-Barabati MLA Debasish Samantaray is eyeing to contest from Paradip Assembly Constituency in the 2024 general elections, the former legislator's address to a gathering in the port city has again triggered a trade of barbs between him and sitting MLA Sambit Routray.

According to sources, Samantaray, who went to Paradip to attend a programme on Labour Day, made cryptic comments while addressing the meeting and criticised the local leadership.

Moreover, he even sought support and blessing of voters while addressing the gathering. 

“The political interest which is required for Paradip is lagging. The residents must express their desire. I am a son of this land and was an MLA before. I will not take a back foot to provide leadership to the constituency,” Samantaray had said during the programme.

Taking a dig at Samantaray, Paradip MLA Sambit Routray, who is the son of former BJD leader Damodar Rout, said the statement of the former MLA is condemnable. 

“After suffering an unexpected defeat from Congress, he (Samantaray) is poking his nose in my constituency. When a person cannot take leadership in his own area, how can he say Paradip lacks strong leadership,” Routray said.

“He is not keen to serve people. As Paradip is an industrial hub, he is just trying to embezzle the funds,” Routray added.