ROURKELA: A day after Talsara MLA Prafulla Majhi alleged horse-trading by Sundargarh District Congress president (SDCC) which helped the ruling BJD form ZP council, speculations are rife that Majhi may switch side to the BJP.
Supporting the BJD seems to have cost the Congress dearly with a split in the party looking inevitable. Majhi had alleged that a deal of `1 crore was struck and SDCC president Dushmanta Naik was at the centre of the deal. Naik later alleged that Majhi had taken help of BJP to get his wife Triveni Majhi elect as Balishankara block chairperson on Saturday.
The tension in the camp refuses to die down with Naik stating that he would file a defamation suit against Majhi and a showcause notice would be served to him for damaging the party’s image.
Congress insiders admitted that the latest crisis is another body blow for the party which is its losing base with no sign of revival. Of 35 ZP seats, Congress in 2017 won just five and was second in 11 seats, while it was pushed to fourth or fifth positions in rest 19 seats.
Sources said, Congress is not in a healthy position after 2009 when it had last won the Sundargarh Lok Sabha (LS) seat surprisingly. In four of the seven Assembly Constituencies (ACs) of the LS seat it permanently has no position.
Congress had last won the RN Pali and Birmitrapur ACs in 1985, Rourkela AC in 1995 and Bonai AC in the 1997 by-poll. Talsara AC is a traditional Congress bastion, except for five years from 1990. It was retained by Majhi’s father-in-law Gajadhar Majhi from 1980 and after his death in 2006, Prafulla has been winning from the seat.
Amid the BJP surge, Talsara AC is does not look secure for Congress for 2019 election with or without Prafulla.