BHUBANESWAR : Former Union minister and senior Congress leader Srikant Jena on Friday raised a banner of revolt against the State leadership a day after he was removed as the chairman of the manifesto committee of the party.“I will visit each village in the State to seek the opinion of the people on the issues raised by me - confiscation of the ill gotten wealth of the mining mafia, chief minister from the other backward classes and deputy chief minister from the scheduled caste and scheduled tribe communities - if the Congress comes to power,” Jena told mediapersons here.
“There will be an opinion box in each village. Let the people say whether they want the rule of two families or the rule of the 94 per cent of the people,” he said.
These issues were included in the preamble of the manifesto drafted by Jena. The senior leader had sought the opinion of party leaders at the grassroots level through letters written to them.
“There has to be an outline or a preamble to actually begin discussion, deliberation and debate among the party members as a first step towards grassroots formulation of a detailed manifesto,” Jena said in a letter to All India Congress Committee (AICC) Odisha in-charge Jitendra Singh.
“I am surprised that some people, including the new OPCC president, are opposing the fundamental pillars of the proposed preamble and that too with public pronouncements, when the letter was meant for internal discussion only,” he said.
“Since you have also termed my letter as fissiparous and creates unwarranted confusion, I have three simple questions for you,” Jena said and asked his opinion on the issues raised by him in the preamble of the manifesto.“If you think that the opposition of the OPCC president and some other leaders towards these very basic principles which are also core to the Congress party is justified, it will be best to free me from the responsibility,” he said.
However, OPCC president Niranjan Patnaik said he is not a mine owner nor he is involved in mining business. He said the party will examine the allegations against Jena and former Koraput MLA Krushna Chandra Sagaria for trying to create factionalism and action will be taken against them, if found guilty. “The party will never tolerate indiscipline,” he said.
Meanwhile, chairman of OPCC Disciplinary Committee Hemananda Biswal on Friday said Jena was removed for indiscipline. Coming down heavily on Jena, opposition chief whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati said the Congress is not a party of mining mafia and those who are trying to malign the party should quit immediately. The Disciplinary Committee would take appropriate action against those who are trying to split the party.