It's official. Once Rahul Gandhi's close confidante and Congress strongman from south Odisha, and also party's tribal face, has finally call it quits after over two decade long association with the grand old party.
The news of Pradeep, known as a vibrant youth leader, resigning from the primary membership of INC has sent shockwaves in the Odisha political circles.
On Friday, the former Congress MP announced that he has tendered his resignation from the primary membership of Congress and has sent the letter to the party high command in New Delhi.
In his resignation to AICC Chief Sonia Gandhi, Majhi claimed that even though the party organization functioned extremely well earlier, it has now declined due to recalcitrant persons occupying the pivot posts at different level.
"..Now the party has almost lost its credibility which may take a long time to revive. I have a great desire to serve my people at whatever position I am which is now lacking in the Congress party. As such I am painfully quiting the party for which I may kindly be excused.." Majhi wrote in his letter.
However, his claims have not gone down too well with the party's state leadership and also several of his colleagues in the Congress.
Odisha Congress president Niranjan Patnaik who was seen visiting party high command in New Delhi following the development today slammed Majhi and said that he wants to 'be something' than to 'do something for people'.
He (Mahji) probably thought that he might not be able to wield more power, so he left Congress. Because yesterday only, he clarified that he was going nowhere and today, he quit," said Patnaik.
Senior Congress leader Tara Bahinipati said Majhi has betrayed the Congress which nurtured and gave him an identity.
Majhi's quitting will have no bearing on the Congress party. He was in fact like a (Graha Dosha) planetary affliction to the party, so it is better he left," said Bahinipati.
Meanwhile, as speculations continue on Majhi's entry into the ruling party fold, the Biju Janata Dal has also made its stance clear that the door is always open for the youth leader.
Senior BJD leader and minister Pratap Jena said, "If Majhi decided to work for the people under the leadership of Naveen Patnaik, we will welcome him.
Profile Of Pradeep Majhi
- Pradeep Majhi was a Member of the 15th Lok Sabha from Nabarangpur seat
- He came to the political picture as a promising talent back in 2002 under the tutelage of Rahul Gandhi who was then spearheading the Congress' youth brigade
- Five years later in 2007, he was elected Zilla Parishad member and subsequently also helmed the district council in Nabarangpur
- In just a year, he was appointed secretary of national youth wing of Congress
- By 2009, his political career saw him rise meteorically as he was handed the baton of the State Congress' youth wing.
- In the same year, Majhi fought the Lok Sabha election from Nabarangpur and broke the BJP's decade-long hegemony in the tribal district by winning over 30k votes
- In the work front, Majhi, a staunch critic of the Naveen government continued to pose serious troubles for the ruling party on many vital issues from the alleged multi-crore MGNREGA corruption to the sensational Kunduli gang-rape.
Meanwhile, political observers believe that Majhi's departure may not only spell more trouble for the Congress' declining base in south Odisha but the party may also have lost a bright prospect.