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Devbrat Patnaik

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Pradesh Mahila Congress President Sumitra Jena today tore apart OPCC chief Niranjan Patnaik and his son Navajyoti Patnaik when she accused them of giving tickets only to those who are financially well-off.

Aggrieved over the distribution of tickets among the male and female candidates by the AICC in various Parliamentary and Assembly constituencies of Odisha, Jena alleged that both father and son are involved in a secret deal with the liquor traders and mining mafia which is why genuine deserving candidates were left out during ticket allotment.

"OPCC Chief Niranjan Patnaik and his son Navjyoti Patnaik are dominating the party affairs in the State, and this elections they have given tickets to those with deep pockets. He is only there in the party to take revenge."

Reportedly, the Mahila Congress chief had recommended names of 52 women candidates for the upcoming elections, but she said most of them were not given due importance during the ticket allotment process despite having worked selflessly for the party. "When I asked him, he (Niranjan) said the candidates I had suggested were not deserving enough. He will bear the curse of the weeping women and there's no escaping," Jena pointed.

Further bursting out at the Odisha Congress President, Jena said, "Niranjan Patnaik will get a befitting reply on May 23 after declaration of poll results. Congress will win maximum 5-6 seats in Odisha."

On the dissidence issue, OPCC chief Niranjan Patnaik said that 'support and protest' are natural during elections. However, he refused to comment on the allegations of Jena.

It is pertinent to mention here that Sumitra Jena was allegedly manhandled a few days back while staging a dharna at the party office in Bhubaneswar.

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