Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Ahead of the forthcoming Panchayat and urban local body polls, the internal feud in Odisha Congress unit has hit a new low with senior leaders Pradeep Majhi and Tara Prasad Bahinipati openly indulging in verbal duels.

Hitting out at Bahinipati for questioning the leadership of Odisha Congress President Nirannjan Patnaik and threatening to quit the party, Working President of the party Majhi said the statement of the senior legislator is unacceptable.

“All the leaders of the party have expressed their dissatisfaction over Bahinipati’s remarks.  Politics in Koraput is not possible without tribal people. Tara always tries to dominate the Congress leaders in the district. He is also trying to create hurdles in the work of the only party MP in the State. His autocratic style of functioning will not be accepted anymore,” said Majhi.

“Only the party is entitled to take decisions about inclusion and omissions to its fold. Tara is only a member of the party and not in the decision making authority to comment about new leaders joining the party,” he said

Tara had also vented his ire on Patnaik over the return of former Laxmipur MLA Kailash Kulsaeka to the party. He had claimed that he and the party’s Koraput district president Meenakshi Bahinipati, who is his wife, were unaware about Kulsaeka’s return.

However, defending the move by the party, Majhi said, “Kulsaeka had participated in the press meet on the scheduled day and Meenakshi was aware of it. Tara is only the MLA of Jeypore and it was not necessary to inform him about the development.”

On the other hand, Tara also slammed Majhi by raising questions over the latter’s defeat in the last Lok Sabha polls.
“If Pradeep is working for the development of tribal people, why was he defeated twice in the elections,” asked Tara.

“Pradeep is behind all the feuds in undivided Koraput and nobody is capable of challenging him,” he alleged.