Bijepur Bypoll: Odisha Congress pacifies dissent

Bhubaneswar/Bargarh: Former Bijepur MLA and senior Congress leader Ripunath Seth, who had earlier expressed his dissatisfaction after the grand old party declared Dilip Panda as its candidate for the bypoll in Bijepur Assembly seat, today said that no one is above the party and he will campaign for party candidate in the by-election.

Seth said that though he was upset with the selection of Panda as candidate, he is now convinced and will campaign for the party in the bypoll. “I was disappointed after not being given any election responsibility. However, I spoke to the party chief today. He told me that as a senior leader my first responsibility is towards the party and I should shun my displeasure in view of the party’s interest.”

On being asked whether he will now campaign for Panda, Seth said, “Who is Dilip Panda, I will campaign for Congress in the Bijepur bypoll.”

Odisha Congress chief Niranjan Patnaik admitted that Seth has not been given any responsibility as the party doesn’t want to restrict him to a particular group of panchayats like the party has done for other Congress leaders. “As a leader from the Assembly constituency, he (Seth) will campaign for the party in entire Bijepur,” said Patnaik.

As Seth was expecting party ticket for his son Abhishekh Seth, political experts believe that the senior leader may campaign for the party in the bypoll but whether he will give his 100 per cent not remains to be seen.