Srikant Jena, Niranjan Patnaik bonhomie fuels speculation

Bhubaneswar: A meeting between OPCC chief Niranjan Patnaik and expelled Congress leader Srikant Jena has fuelled speculations of the latter’s return to the party.

During the 11th day post-death rituals of former MLA Brundaban Patra, the OPCC chief was seen having a extended jovial conversation with Jena. While this is said to be the first meeting between the two leaders after Jena’s expulsion from party earlier this year, Congress leader Sura Routray has said that there is no problem if Jena returns to the party.

“We have no issues if Srikant Jena returns to the party. Conspiracy will not work in this party anymore,” Routray said.

Speaking on his meeting with Jena, Patnaik said, “Is there any restriction to meet him (Srikant Jena)? Congress has always kept its doors open for those who are willing to come back.”

No comments could be obtained from Jena regarding his meeting with the OPCC chief. Earlier this year, Jena was suspended for alleged anti-party activities.