Sumitra Jena likely to step down as Mahila Congress chief

Bhubaneswar: Ahead of the crucial general elections, dissidence over ticket distribution is now threatening to hit the Odisha Congress unit hard with Odisha Pradesh Mahila Congress president Sumitra Jena today hinting at stepping down from the post.

Speaking exclusively to OTV, Jena informed that she will not contest the elections from any seat and would take a decision on his resignation from the Mahila Congress president post soon after holding consultations with her supporters and well wishers.

“I feel extremely sad that I have failed to fulfil the promises I had made to Mahila Congress leaders. I had recommended names of 52 women candidates for the upcoming elections, but most of them were not given due importance during the ticket allotment process despite having worked selflessly for the party.”

Targeting the State party leadership, Jena alleged that she was not consulted on why her proposed candidates were not shortlisted in the list. “If we are not consulted on such matters at crucial times like the elections, I don’t think that I deserve to stay in the post as a ‘dummy’ president. I even believe that the president post of Mahila Congress is only a formality and has no real siginificance,” Jena said.

Two days back, the Mahila Congress chief was reportedly manhandled by a group of women workers at the party’s headquarters office where she was staging a dharna alleging improper ticket allocation.

“If I cannot defend myself and I am made to suffer harrasment at party office, how can I take care of other workers?” Jena expressed her anguish.

Jena, however, clarified that she would not leave Congress. “I will continue my crusade for the welfare, security and safety of the women of our State, so there is no question of resigning from the party,” she said.

However, OPCC president Niranjan Patnai said that ‘support and protest’ are part and parcel of elections. However, he denied to comment on the allegations of Jena.