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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Former chief minister and senior Congress leader Hemananda Biswal, who created a flutter in his party circle four days ago after admitting dissidence in the Congress in a meeting with party vice president Rahul Gandhi in Delhi, today received support from his colleague Niranjan Patnaik, the former Odisha Congress chief who is known for plain-speaking on party affairs.

"There always is discontentment among some leaders in the party. If Hemananda Babu has raised that matter and drew the attention of the high command, what is wrong in it?" Patnaik asked.

In an scathing attack against the party leadership, the former minister made fun of some leaders dubbing them 'rats' in the party.

"Like all other parties, there are rats in our party also. A special rat killing drive is in progress. Some have been killed and more will be trapped in coming days," he said sarcastically without naming anybody.

Party spokesperson Ganeswar Behera also joined the suit. "Yes, I agree that some rats are there. But, some are habituated to creating disturbance inside party. But the party is able enough to arrest them," Behera said.

However, the rat episode did not go down well with former PCC president and PCC coordination committee member Jayadev Jena though he accepted rift in the party.

"As a PCC president, one cannot make everyone in the party happy. But efforts are on to unite all. That does not mean we will give negative comment before media against party leaders dubbing them rats. It will affect the morale of party workers," Jena said.

Notably, top Congress leader Hemananda Biswal on Wednesday had met Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi and drawn his attention to dissidence against the state leadership.

"Discontentment continues in the party. Some are unhappy over the party's state leadership. Seniors are not being given due recognition. I urged Rahul Gandhi to immediately convene a meeting among all senior leaders and MLAs of Congress in Odisha so that the party's base in the state can be strengthened," Biswal had told the media in New Delhi.

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