Congress MLA Jogesh Singh quits party & post; more MLAs likely to jump ship

Bhubaneswar: With barely a few months before the crucial general polls, the Odisha unit of the Congress seemed to be facing severe dissidence with many leaders deciding to quit the party one after another.

Close on the heels of resignation of senior leader and Jharsuguda MLA Naba Das, Sundergarh MLA Jogesh Singh today resigned from the party and also quit from the post of the Member of Odisha Legislative Assembly, a day after he was suspended for making anti-party comments.

Singh today sent his resignation letter to AICC President Rahul Gandhi stating that he was astonished about the decision taken by the disciplinary committee of the state unit to suspend him without any show cause notice and explanation.

In the letter, Singh has questioned how his actions for praising CM Naveen Patnaik and deciding to skip AICC President’s Odisha visit on January 25 are anti-party activities.

Meanwhile, speculations are also rife that Salepur MLA Prakash Behera who recently heaped praises on the ruling BJD may also leave the party. Sources said Behera who is presently away from the State might take any decision regarding this after returning back to Odisha.

Talks are also abuzz that G.Udaygiri MLA Jacob Pradhan may also be on the line to leave the grand old party to join the BJD.

However, the party leader has rubbished the speculations as baseless and fabricated. Pradhan said that Congress is a very old party and exit of leaders from the party will have no effect on it.

“The Congress is 134-year-old party and has faced several ups and downs over the course of its history. Even the ouster of a good organiser like Naba Das will have no impact on the party because there are so many leaders in the party. But it is unfair to compare me with Naba Das as I have always been with the Congress and will fight the upcoming elections from the party seat,” said Pradhan.

On the other hand OPCC chief Niranjan Patnaik said that if speculations of such dissidence are found true then action will be taken. “Congress is not afraid to take action on those who go against the party ethics and leadership,” he said.

On the situation arising after the ouster of Naba Das and Jogesh Singh, Patnaik said “The party is fully prepared to face any challenge. There are many faces to take charge of party affairs in Jharsuguda and Sundergarh.”