SN Patro, Niranjan Patnaik spat over Congress and BJD future

Verbal duel between the ruling BJD and Opposition Congress is getting more intense ahead of the by-election to Bijepur Assembly constituency.

Published: 28th September 2017 02:22 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th September 2017 07:51 AM   |  A+A-

Niranjan Patnaik | EPS

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: Verbal duel between the ruling BJD and Opposition Congress is getting more intense ahead of the by-election to Bijepur Assembly constituency with the Congress claiming that the regional outfit will cease to exist the day Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik retires from politics.

A war of words between Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister SN Patro and senior Congress leader Niranjan Patnaik ensued over the former’s assertion that a win for the BJD in the by-election is a foregone conclusion as many Congress leaders of Bijepur have joined the BJD.

Earlier on Wednesday, Patro had said the Congress has lost relevance as the party is slowly disintegrating, both at the National and State levels. He further claimed that all members of the Congress in Bijepur have left the party and joined the BJD. “We will undoubtedly win the Bijepur by-poll,” Patro said.

Patro said the BJD will accept any leader from Congress and BJP who will follow Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s ideology. The survival of the Congress is doubtful as the party is facing a leadership crisis, both at the State and National levels, he said, adding that the Congress leaders of the State have no other option but to join the BJD.

Reacting to Patro’s claim, Niranjan  said the BJD vice-president has said the right thing but it is not Congress rather the BJD which will get wiped out in the State.“The existence of the regional party is solely dependent on Naveen babu. In the next 2 to 3 years, he will retire following which BJD will cease to exist,” Niranjan said.

Meanwhile, giving a further twist to the candidature of Ritarani Sahu, suspended BJD leader and former MLA Ashok Panigrahi claimed that widow of former Congress MLA Subal Sahu was won over by the ruling party by offering inducements including a flat in Bhubaneswar. However, this was refuted by the BJD.


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