Gamang’s son clears air, says father will join a national party

Bhubaneswar: Clearing the clouds over Giridhar Gamang quitting Congress, his son Sisir today said the former would join a national party.

“If my father joins any party tomorrow, it would be a national party. There is no question of joining any regional player,” Sisir said.

Sisir’s today’s statement has put all doubts to rest clearly indicating that the nine-time MP is joining BJP given that the former Odisha chief minister is left with no choice than the saffron party in Odisha as a national player.

Though Gamang senior has remained tight-lipped about the recent development, what has stirred up the whole episode is his simmering dissent over party’s ticket distribution in 2014 general election.

Countering Sisir’s yesterday statement that Congress ignored his father’s recommendation and offered Rayagada MLA ticket to Makaranda Muduli, party’s then State president Jayadev Jena claimed that it was Gamang who recommended Muduli’s name for the seat.

“My father had suggested the party to give the MLA ticket to Saptagiri Ulaka, son of former minister late Ramchandra Ulaka, as he could have garnered loads of support in terms of sympathy votes. And, surprisingly, hours before filing of nomination was going to be over, we were informed that somebody else has been given the ticket. What could we have done?” Sisir had said yesterday.

Meanwhile, when asked about any irregularities in the ticket distribution as alleged by the Gamangs, senior Congress leader Niranjan Patnaik’s comment hinted at his agreement. “After election, there are complaints that a lot of winnable candidates were denied tickets and many wrong decisions were taken,” Patnaik said.

On the recent development, he quipped, “Only he (Gamang) will be knowing what has happened in Rayagada.”

But former Kalahandi MP and senior Congress leader Bhakta Das batted for Gamang and was all praise for the latter.

“He is a known disciplinarian and not greedy for power. He is known for his honesty and integrity… I believe at a time when the party is struggling to return to its old image, he is not a person like anyone to leave it and join some other party,” Das stated, understandably covering up the ticket distribution issue.

Going by Sisir’s yesterday statement, only four days are left for a big surprise in the history of Odisha politics. So keep watching this column.