Pradeep Pattanayak

Always claiming to be a Congress leader to his fingertips, Jatani MLA Suresh Routray is seen these days campaigning for his younger son Manmath Routray, a BJD candidate for the Bhubaneswar Lok Sabha seat. 

Senior Routray’s lack of coherence between words and actions has left the Congress workers perplexed. 

On April 2, he along with Susant Rout, BJD’s MLA candidate for the Bhubaneswar North Assembly seat, attended a cricket match organised in the constituency. While addressing the gathering, he not only heaped praise on Susant but also appealed to people to vote for his son. 

Also Read: Video of Congress MLA Sura Routray campaigning for BJD MLA goes viral! 

“I won’t carry your (BJD) symbol. But wherever I will go I will appeal to people to shower their blessings on my son,” Routray had said.  
“My son told me that Pandian bhai and Nabeen Babu asked him to contest from Bhubaneswar Lok Sabha seat. I thought a little and then told him to go ahead,” he had said. 

In another incident, he along with his son Manmath and the Bhubaneswar Mayor visited Buddha Park. There also, the senior Routray appealed to people to bless his son. 

“I have nothing to say about any candidate. My son is highly qualified and gentle. We are gently asking for votes,” he said. 

Meanwhile, by adopting such duality, Routray has left party workers and Jatani people confused. 

“Sura bhai (Suresh Routray) means Congress. His campaigning for his son is not going down well with Jatani people,” said a Jatani resident. 

Routray’s nephew and former Jatani Municipality chairman, Sangram Keshari Routray said, “He always extols the ruling party. Whenever he is critical of BJD, it is to be understood that he has an ulterior motive behind it.”

Many have questioned why the party is not taking any action against Routray even when a show-cause notice has been issued to him. 

It is too early to say how Suresh Routray’s campaigning will help his son, but an incident from the same Buddha park minutes after his visit did shed some light.  

“People want Aparajita Sarangi. There is no point in asking for votes for Manmath,” said a jogger at Buddha Park.   

“We are not yet in election mode. We are now focusing on developing public relationships and meeting elderly persons to understand their problems,” said Manmath Routray. 

Senior journalist Prasanna Mohanty said, “The words and actions of political leaders should go hand in hand. In this election, many leaders are seen sacrificing principles. Common people are also looking at this differently.”

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