Slugfest continues in Congress over all-party meet on Mahanadi

Bhubaneswar: The intra-party conflict in the Congress is refusing to die down. Even as the controversy over the absence of PCC president Prasad Harichandan in the all-party meet on the Mahanadi water dispute chaired by their own Narasing Mishra is yet to subside, a fresh war of words ensued between senior leader Niranjan Patnaik and Tara Prasad Bahinipati today.

Countering Patnaik’s remark on the all-party meet, Opposition chief whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati chided him – without taking his name – for his statement and urging him to refrain from making such statement in the interest of the party.

“Senior leaders giving statements on the all-party meet is an attempt to harm the Congress. They should think deeply and refrain from doing such things,” Bahinipati said.

Patnaik, a former PCC president, had yesterday termed leaders opposing the meeting ‘traitors’.

“Those who work to harm the interest of Odisha can’t be trusted. The interest of the people is important for us, not the party or any individual”, he had said.

Party legislator Prafulla Majhi, who participated in the meeting,refsued to comment on the contradictory remarks of the leaders. “Congress is united and we are fighting for the cause of Odisha unitedly. I do not want to comment on the statement of some leaders because it may be their personal view,” Majhi said.

On the other hand, questions are being asked whether the all-party meet had not been given the go-ahead by the AICC prompting PCC chief Harichandan to skip it.

Prasad, however, denied discussion on the issue saying, the matter is ‘irrelevant’.

“I have made it very clear that I was never scheduled to join the all-party meeting. Some people have given statements on the issue in their own political interest. I don’t think there is any point discussing the issue,” Harichandan said.