Prakash Behera, Third Sitting MLA in a Row to Quit Congress

Bhubaneswar: Party-switching by political leaders is a common phenomenon during elections but when sitting MLAs quit a party that too just ahead of elections, it dwindles political prospects of that particular party. After Naba Das and Jogesh Singh, Salepur MLA Prakash Behera today resigned from the primary membership of Congress.

In his resignation letter to the AICC chief, Behera alleged that he worked for Congress for long 20 years but he was neglected and humiliated by the party. “After being removed as district Congress committee president of Cuttack, I was humiliated by the leadership time and again. In spite of my appeal to the OPCC president Niranjan Patnaik, my grievance was not considered,” said Behera.

While speaking to OTV over phone on his future course of action, Behera said, “I have always worked for the people of Salepur and they are with me. I have had several discussions with the people of my constituency and will soon take a decision.” On earlier reports that he would join the BJP, Behera said that he is yet to take a decision but his decision will be in line with the interest of the people of Salepur.

Meanwhile, senior Congress leader Ganeshwar Behera said: “It’s unfortunate that MLA Prakash Behera resigned from the party; it’s a bad news for the party as he was a good leader and organiser. However, it will be a loss for him (Salepur MLA).”

Earlier in January, the two-time Congress MLA from Jharsuguda Naba Das quit Congress and joined BJD stating that  ‘people and voters’ of his area want him to contest the 2019 elections on BJD ticket as they want development of their area. Within a few days, Sundargarh MLA Jogesh Singh tendered his resignation expressing shock over Congress’ decision to suspend him without any show cause notice and explanation.

Koraput MLA Krushna Chandra Sagaria had also earlier resigned from his post citing failure to provide justice to Kunduli gang rape victim. He later joined Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) after PCC expelled him on disciplinary grounds. Similarly, former union minister Srikant Jena was also expelled from the Congress for allegedly indulging in anti-party activities.