After Naba Das, Congress MLA Jogesh Singh hints at quitting party

Sundergarh: Amid intense speculations over his resignation from the Congress, party leader and Sundergarh MLA Jogesh Singh today added fuel to the fire saying that he has decided to skip the meeting during party president Rahul Gandhi’s Odisha visit on January 25.

The move which is being seen as big setback for party’s poll prospects in the western Odisha comes close on the heels of senior leader and party MLA from Jharsuguda Naba Das’ decision to quit party for joining BJD camp.

“Rahul Gandhi’s visit to Odisha was recently finalised but my schedule of various village-level programmes was planned much earlier. Keeping in view the upcoming elections, I cannot participate during Rahul Gandhi’s meeting as I will have to attend programmes with my people,” informed Singh while talking to media persons after a programme in Kinjirkela here in presence of Jharsuguda MLA Naba Das.

Asked about the reason, Singh said, “Public is my high command who have voted me as their leader and their service is more important than party affairs so I cannot ignore them.”

Heaping praises on Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, the two-time Congress MLA said, “CM Naveen is an able administrator and he possess good political skills and capabilities with the help of which he has been able to rule Odisha for the last 18 years.”

On joining BJD, the Congress leader said “At present I am in Congress and haven’t quit from the party yet. However, people have voted me to power and their opinion is at the highest. I will go with the decision of my people.”

Meanwhile, talking to OTV over phone, senior Congress leader Arya Kumar Gyanendra said, “No one will praise anyone without individual interests and there must be some personal benefit in it. We were never worried about who is joining or leaving the party but are only concerned to work for the party and I hope it will definitely yield results in the upcoming elections.”

On the other hand, disciplinary committee chief of the party Hemananda Biswal said decisions to quit party are attempts to destabilise the party during crucial juncture just before the 2019 elections which is not good.

“Odisha Congress had given Das the opportunity to represent the people in the State Assembly for ten long years but now his decision to leave the party is not fair. However, his withdrawal from the party will not affect the party organisation in Sundergarh,” said Biswal.