Himansu Shekhar Rout

In a setback to the Congress, senior leader of Paradip, Bapi Sarkhel left the party just a few days after his wife Monideepa crossed over to the BJD.

Now, his next move is under close watch of political observers amid speculations that he may land in the ruling party after parting ways with Congress. 

Sarkhel said, "I have resigned from Congress this morning. I had distanced myself from the party. Many of our candidates affiliated with our outfit ‘Ama Paradip Ama Pragati’ won some seats in the civic body polls. Now I want to focus on serving the labourers and the trade unions” 

 “I will decide my next course of action after taking advice from my supporters. There is no chance to keep myself away from politics,” he said.   

However, he denied reports about contesting polls in Paradip. “Neither I nor my wife have any inclination toward Paradip ticket,” he said. 

On the other hand, Odisha Congress chief, Sarat Pattanayak said, "It is the Congress party and it produces leaders. His leaving will have no impact on our electoral politics. We lost elections in 1977 and came back to power in 1980.”

He sounded confident about the Congress’s electoral success.