Dama-Sulochana feud turns ugly as Congress hits street

Bhubaneswar: The quarrel between minister Damodar Rout and Congress spokesperson Sulochana Das took an ugly turn today after the women’s wing of the State Congress took to the streets in the Capital city demanding his resignation from the State Cabinet for allegedly disrespecting women.

Around hundred women activists of the party took out a rally at Master Canteen square and burnt the effigy of the Agriculture minister in front of the Congress State headquarters.

They alleged that ‘Dama Babu’ is a habitual offender. “I recalled an incident in the past when he was forced to wear bangles for using abusive words against one Basanti Behera in a public meeting. Now, BJD has given him an important position. It would be better for him, if he respects woman at least during a discussion on a TV channel. I think he has lost his mind due to old age. We will intensify the stir against him,” said Sasmita Behera, Mahila Congress chief.

Sulochana also echoed similar views and attributed Rout’s such behaviour to old age. “Dama Babu is a senior and experienced politician. The way he behaves with the opposition members especially women is ridiculous. I think he might have been mentally disturbed due to old age that led to such childish behaviour,” she said.

The minister, however, denied insulting the woman leader during the debate and further alleged that their Congress is dancing to her tune. “I am sad due to such a culture in Congress party which made a woman a spokesperson deliberately so that no one can criticise. Everybody has to comply with her views or face wrath,” Rout said.

“The viewers must have felt that I have never made any abusive remarks with any intention. As she was in media earlier, she continues to think likewise. However, I consider her as a politician that might have led to a misunderstanding”, he clarified.

During News@9 debate of OTV on Tuesday, the veteran leader and BJD vice-president lambasted Das asking her to do homework before taking part in a TV discussion. The minister had also pointed out that he knows how she became spokesperson and by appeasing whom.

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