Soumya says he has no political link with JB, Niranjan

Bhubaneswar: Expelled from Congress for anti-party activities, former MP Soumya Ranjan Patnaik today claimed he has no "political relationship" with Assam Governor J B Patnaik and former Odisha PCC president Niranjan Patnaik.

Soumya Ranjan, who happens to be son-in-law of former Chief Minister J B Patnaik (now Governor of Assam) and younger brother of Niranjan Patnaik, said "It is wrong to link my name with J B Patnaik and Niranjan Patnaik."

He was responding to a query if action against him was aimed at J B Patnaik or Niranjan Patnaik.

Claiming that he had never indulged in any anti-party activities as alleged, Patnaik said he was not able to accept the expulsion order. "I have not committed any such activities to attract expulsion from Congress. I have worked for the party for last 25 years," the editor-turned-politician said.

He said "Congress has been rejected by the people of Odisha for last 15 years. I will congratulate them (high command) if they get success after expelling me from party."

"I was connecting people with Congress through my different programmes. The party has no meaning if people are not with it. Any way, the people are not with Congress in the state for last 15 years," Soumya Ranjan said adding he would spend time by working for the people.

On his next course of action, Patnaik said "I am associated with media and social service like blood donation camps and Ama Odisha, a socio-cultural outfit. I am not worried as a lot of work is pending for me."

Soumya's expulsion evoked mixed reaction in the party here. While former Speaker and senior leader Sarat Kumar Kar described action against Soumya was "excess", former minister Sarat Rout preferred to abide by the decision of the AICC.

"I think this (action against Soumya) is too much.

This is because the party has not taken any action against those who defied party whip during the last Rajya Sabha elections," Kar said.