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Ramakanta Biswas

Bhubaneswar: Tension ran high at Congress Bhawan here after a heated argument ensued between two groups of the party during a general body meeting forcing the top leadership of the party to deploy bouncers to prevent troublemakers to create unwanted situation.

According to sources, a war of words erupted between supporters of former National Students' Union of India (NSUI) Odisha convenor Itish Pradhan and another group while a party meeting chaired by OPCC chief Niranjan Patnaik and State in-charge Jitendra Singh was underway.

Pradhan who was suspended from the party few months ago for being involved in anti-party activities and indiscipline, staged a dharna along with his supporters in front of the party headquarters leveling serious allegations against the top brass of the party.

According to reports, the ex-NSUI convenor and his supporters were not alleged to enter the party office following which they locked the main gate of the party headquarters and raised slogans against the top leaders of the party.

Following the incident, Nabajyoti Patnaik, son of the OPCC chief Niranjan Patnaik was seen accompanied by some bouncers to the Congress Bhawan.

Asked about the incident, Itish Pradhan alleged that despite his association with the party for more than 15 years, he was suspended from the party without any show-cause notice.

“I was suspended through a well-planned conspiracy for speaking truth. However, no action was taken against some particular party leaders who had earlier indulged in anti-party activities and indiscipline. Subsequently they were given tickets to contest the elections,” Pradhan alleged.

He further questioned whether it is a mistake to speak truth and expose the anti-party activities of some party workers.

“The All India Youth Congress in-charge recently told that PCC can not intervene in the matter of appointment of any youth Congress members, but how why was I suspended from the party,” Pradhan questioned.

On the other hand, no comments could be obtained from the top leaders of the party in connection with the incident.

Earlier in September 12 last year, Pradhan while addressing a presser alleged that OPCC chief Niranjan Patnaik had struck a secret deal with BJD and promoted dynastic politics by giving ticket to his son to contest the Lok Sabha polls from Balasore constituency in the last general elections.


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