Odisha Congress in damage control mode, suspends MLA Jogesh Singh

Bhubaneswar: A day after Naba Das resigned from the primary membership of Congress; the party is now in damage control mode and suspended Sundargarh MLA Jogesh Singh today for making anti-party statements. The move came on the backdrop of Singh’s comments which triggered speculations that he along with Prakash Behera might join the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD).

Informing about the development, OPCC disciplinary committee convener Ananta Prasad Sethi stated that Sundergarh MLA Jogesh Singh has been suspended from the party for his recent statements before media. The suspension order was issued following necessary approvals of All India Congress Committee (AICC).

The development came hours after PCC disciplinary committee chairperson, Hemanand Biswal indicated that stern action will be taken against the leaders who instead of raking up several issues at appropriate party forums are making irresponsible statements in media.

After Naba Das’ exit, the Odisha Congress now seems to be in a fix as Jharsuguda was considered party’s stronghold.

“Jogesh Singh has given statements which are against the party. He had categorically stated that he will not be attending the meeting of AICC president Rahul Gandhi in Odisha on January 25,” said PCC disciplinary committee convenor, Ananta Sethi.

Sethi further informed that a show-cause notice was served to Jogesh Singh yesterday and he was asked to furnish a reply within 24-hours. However, as no communication was received, Singh was suspended.

Clarifying on MLA Prakash Behera’s issue, Sethi stated that the former has not given any such statements that can be considered anti-party. However, action will be taken against the leaders who will indulge in anti-party activities and make anti-party statements, he added.

Soon after his suspension, Jogesh Singh denied to have received any show-cause notice.

“I am surprised as I have not done or spoken anything against the party. Is praising State’s Chief Minister who was awarded best administrator award wrong?” questioned Singh adding that leaders as well as workers of BJP and BJD support and like him.

Singh further stated that he will continue to work for the people of his constituency and will soon quit his MLA post.

Responding to media queries on speculations of joining BJD, Singh stated that he is yet to take any decision.

Congress MLA Devendra Sharma on the other hand said “Leaders changing sides is nothing new in politics. Naba Das and others quitting Congress will not have any impact on the party. I think there will be no impact as when Biju Patnaik had left Congress, it did not have any impact on the party. BJD will sink like the Titanic,” said Sharma.