Odisha Mahila Congress chief Sumitra Jena quits party

I think OPCC chief is quietly letting BJD win, said Sumitra Jena after quitting Congress today..

Bhubaneswar: Rising dissidence within the Odisha Congress is not only putting it in a continuous disarray but has also dealt a huge setback to the party as Mahila Pradesh Congress president Sumitra Jena today resigned from the primary membership of the party and quit her post citing indifference with the State party leadership.

Coming down heavily on Odisha Congress president Niranjan Patnaik, Jena, during a presser, alleged that he (Patnaik) selectively allotted tickets to candidates who made his pockets fatter. Not only this, she further accused Niranjan of working for the BJD. “I think the OPCC chief is planning to let BJD win this elections,” she said.

“What will traders do? They are only in the party to do business and that’s what has happened. He (Patnaik) traded tickets for kickbacks and sidelined those who fought for him and helped him reclaim the president post,” Jena said.

On her decision to quit party, the Congress leader said Patnaik should clarify as to why he did not approve candidates she had suggested for consideration during ticket allotment process.

OPCC chief continued to reiterate that there were not many deserving women candidates in the party, so he should clarify what exactly is an indicator of a good woman candidate, Jena questioned.

I proposed the names of 52 candidates for consideration, but he never even called to seek any suggestions even through I was the president of the women wing of the party. He had simply kept me as a dummy president and later did not cooperate with me when I rebuked his orders, an emotional Jena said.

Asked about the development, Niranjan Patnaik said he has no idea on why Jena quit the party. People will understand why it happened, he said.

On the growing dissidence within the party, Patnaik stated that it might continue but till today evening.

Meanwhile, the party was today forced to change its candidates in two Assembly constituencies as a last gasp measure, with just two days left for the first phase polls in the State. While Congress had fielded Sitakant Mohapatra from Barchana and Satyabrata Patra from Nimapara seat, the party today allotted the tickets to Ajay Samal and Dilip Nayak respectively, as both Sitakant and Patra pulled out of the poll fray yesterday.