Does Sagaria’s chances to contest Elections 2019 hang in balance?

Bhubaneswar: Already in a damage-control mode with the desertion of senior leader Naba Kishore Das and ouster of Jogesh Singh prior to the general elections, Odisha Congress chief Niranjan Patnaik today hinted at doubts over the party giving a ticket to former Koraput MLA Krishna Chandra Sagaria.

The PCC chief informed that a discussion was held during the disciplinary committee meeting regarding Sagaria’s chances of getting an election ticket. “If Sagaria changes his behaviour, the party ticket might be allotted to him,” Patnaik said.

Further brushing off that the party is in a defence mode, Patnaik stated that Congress is fully prepared to face the challenge and at present the focus is more on strengthening the party rather than individuals.

On the present situation in Jharsuguda, once considered a stronghold of the party, the OPCC chief said, “As far as Jharsuguda is concerned there are many leaders to take charge of the party affairs in the area.”

Reacting to Patnaik’s statements, Sagaria reacted sharply and stated that Patnaik along with his brother is planning to completely ruin the Congress in Odisha. “The comments from Niranjan Patnaik are anti-party and he along with Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, is trying to ruin Odisha Congress. I will inform about the situation to party president Rahul Gandhi.”

He further said, “The decision on allotment of tickets is taken by AICC whereas the PCC only recommends names. Since I am not involved in any anti-party activity, there is no reason why I will not be given tickets.”