Congress candidate Bibhu Tarai quits party, likely to join BJP

Bhubaneswar: Wrong ticket selection in the Odisha unit of Congress continues to give setbacks to the party with unabated exodus of leaders. In another embarrassment for the party ahead of the crucial general elections, senior leader and party spokesperson Bibhu Prasad Tarai, quit from the primary membership of Congress on Wednesday.

Tarai is likely to join the BJP and contest from Jagatsinghpur Lok Sabha seat as a saffron party candidate, quoted a PTI report.

Tarai who was nominated for the Tirtol Assembly constituency, cited discontent over party leadership’s decision to not field him from Jagatsinghpur Lok Sabha constituency as the reason behind his resignation.

Speaking to OTV, Tarai claimed that the State leadership of the Congress and ruling-BJD have entered into a secret nexus to suit each other’s needs in view of the polls.

Indirectly targeting Congress candidate from Paradip, Bapi Sarkhel, Tarai said that the grand old party is haphazardly selecting contestants who have criminal background.

“The party has fielded a candidate who has earlier been framed on criminal charges under 302 of IPC. This apart I also believe that the Congress has intentionally fielded weak candidates at particular segments giving more chances of success to BJD contestants,” alleged Tarai.

Meanwhile, responding to Tarai’s comments, Bapi Sarkhel said. “He (Tarai) has no ethics and ideology and is just a political broker who keeps on hopping from one party to another.”

On the other hand, Yudhistir Samantray, another Congress candidate who has been fielded from Pipili Assembly seat has also quit the party, reported PTI.

In a video which has gone viral on social media, Samantaray was seen accusing OPCC chief Niranjan Patnaik of selling tickets.

“At a time while the party leadership is asking Rs 5 crore for each ticket and is showing lack of consideration to a leader like me, why shall I stay in the party and fight the elections,” questioned Samanataray.

Samantaray said that despite his candidature, party’s State leadership is making all attempts to see him suffer defeat. He also targeted Patnaik for intentionally delaying ticket allotment process.

Asked about his future course of action, Samantaray said he wold not join any other party or fight the elections.

OPCC vice-president and spokesman Arya Gyanendra, however, rejected both the allegations and said: “There is some misunderstanding as Samantaray is very dedicated Congress leader. The party will sort out the problem.”