PURI: Factional feud in the Congress was on full display after two groups engaged in a bloody fight outside the district Congress committee (DCC) office here in presence of top party leaders on Monday.
As many as three Congress workers Alok Kumar Das, Ashutosh Mishra and Swapnajit Rai sustained head injuries in the attack and were rushed to the district headquarters hospital for treatment.
Sources said Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Niranjan Patnaik, State in-Charge Jitendra Singh and AICC general secretary Rudra Raju were on a visit to Puri to analyse the cause behind deteriorating organisational strength of the party and collect opinions for election of the DCC president.
At around 3 pm, local Congress workers received the visiting leaders at Batamangala and escorted them in a bike rally to the DCC office. When the rally was about to reach the party office, half a dozen of dissident Congress workers suddenly launched an attack with iron rods and steel pipes in presence of the OPCC president and AICC leaders. Kumbharpara police rushed to the spot and nabbed one person from the spot. An iron rod was seized from him.
Reacting to the incident, Patnaik said the attack may be a handiwork of opposite parties or faction feud in the Puri Congress unit. “The Congress disciplinary committee will probe the incident and action would be taken after it submits report,” he said.
However, despite the attack, Patnaik and other leaders went about their business and interacted with around 50 Congress leaders including defeated candidates in the Assembly seats to ascertain the cause of the party’s poll debacle. In the last General Elections, the Congress candidate had lost deposit in Puri Assembly seat. In other constituencies too, the performance of Congress was dismal.
Due to the incident, the press meet of Congress scheduled at 5.30 pm was cancelled.Kumbharapara IIC Kulamani Sethy said the person nabbed from the spot is being interrogated and further investigation is on. Till filling of this report, no formal complaint had been lodged with police.