Srikant Jena to seek public referendum after ouster from Congress manifesto panel

Bhubaneswar: A day after being sacked from Congress Manifesto Committee chairman post, senior leader Srikant Jena today announced that he will seek a public referendum on three major proposals that he had earlier presented before the party for the 2019 elections.

Responding to party’s Odisha in-charge, Jitendra Singh’s letter, Jena informed that two families have ruled Odisha for 40 years and I will conduct a referendum seeking public opinion whether they want an extension of these two families or a change.

“As a true Congress man, I wanted to strengthen the party and had made three major proposals in the draft manifesto after I was made the chairperson of the party’s manifesto committee,” said Jena.

Earlier, Jena had made a proposal that if Congress was voted to power in the upcoming elections, then it should to select candidates for chief minister and two deputy chief ministers from OBC/SEBC communities and confiscate property of persons engaged in illegal mining in Odisha.

“I had circulated such proposals to PCC president and other members. But PCC president and some other leaders did not like the proposals and even Odisha in-charge Jitendra Singh had asked me not to bring such issues out,” said Jena.

Jena further stated that “I do not have any personal fight with anyone but there are differences on issues and commitment.”

Responding to Jena’s allegations, Congress leader Tara Prasad Bahinipati stated that “Be it Srikant or any other person who is saying that Congress is a party of mining mafia, they are wrong as the party has been raising its voice against illegal mining in Odisha Assembly and other forums. Those who want to remain in party should maintain discipline.”

Earlier, Congress leader Hemanand Biswal had stated that Srikant Jena was removed as Congress Manifesto Committee chairperson on charges of indiscipline. Moreover, if he repeats his mistake, there are provisions of action from show cause notice to expulsion, he added.