Will he or won’t he? Speculations rife on Gamang quitting Congress

Bhubaneswar: If the speculations, already gathered momentum in the political circles here, are to be believed, veteran Congress leader, nine-time MP and former Odisha chief minister Giridhar Gamang is quitting Congress.

And the genesis of these conjectures is none other than Gamang’s son Sisir whose media statements have set the tongues wagging.

“… If there was a single man (in it), I would have not used the word conspiracy. And this indicates a number of people are involved (in the conspiracy),” Sisir said when asked about the buzz. “You will see in the next five days that a major change is going to happen,” he added.

Though Sisir’s statement has given enough hints about an imminent change in his father’s political career graph, the tribal leader is yet to reveal the plans up his sleeve.

More so, Gamang’s recent meeting with Union minister Jual Oram in New Delhi has fuelled the speculations that the former parliamentarian could join the saffron party.

Though Oram was prompt enough to deny about the media murmurings emanating from the hour-long meeting, highly placed sources said Gamang has evinced interest in joining the BJP.

“He (Gamang) is a respected person and is like my elder brother. He had come to me to discuss about some local issues. No talks held on his joining the party,” Oram quipped.

It is well understood that Gamang’s dissent grew over the party’s ticket distribution policy in the last general election.

“My father has suggested the party to give the MLA ticket to Saptagiri Ulaka, son of former minister late Ramchandra Ulaka, as he can garner 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 stated.

“My father lost the election by a margin of 17,000 to 18,000 votes. He could have won it if the equations were different in terms of fielding party’s candidates,” he said.

“Besides, we had asked the party to investigate a poll-related incident in the region. But it was not heard. If a senior leader in the party gets such a response, what a person can expect from the country’s oldest party,” he said.

Though the statements have set the rumour mills rolling, only time will tell whether an old-timer like Gamang would finally abandon the sinking ship of Congress or not.