Pradeep Pattanayak

A day after the Leader of Opposition (LoP) Jaynarayan Mishra claimed that some Congress leaders had struck a deal with the BJD to ensure the latter’s victory in the Padampur bypoll, senior Congress MLA Suresh Routray on Sunday responded that the LoP has said nothing wrong. 

“What he (Jaynarayan Mishra) is saying is true to some extent. Today I want to clarify that after the death of Janaki Ballabh Patnaik, all the presidents and leaders have earned names, fame and money by using Congress’ name. They are causing Congress’ defeat. What I saw in the Padampur bypoll is all the Congress leaders had gone to Padampur to ensure Congress’ debacle,” spewed a visibly upset Routray. 

BJP leader Mishra on Sunday reiterated his viewpoint, saying nobody will deny the truth. “I don’t have the video to prove my claim, but I had heard about the deal from none other than Congress people. But I would like to say such deal would not work in 2024.” 

On the other hand, OPCC president Sarat Pattanayak rubbished the deal allegation and termed it baseless. “There is no deal between the Congress and the BJD. Those who are claiming so should come with proof. If they prove it that I had discussed with Naveen Patnaik or any BJD leader, I would shun politics for good. They should refrain from confusing people by telling lies,” said Pattanayak, who was contacted over the phone. 

“If our leaders are facing any problem, they should inform either me or the party high command. In future, if any problem arises they shouldn’t blame me,” he added.   

While the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) is yet to respond to the fresh allegations, senior party leader Prasanna Acharya had on December 9 said, “It is natural that such eccentric thinking comes to mind after the debacle. By saying so, we are disrespecting the voters.”