BHUBANESWAR: Even as the pro-changers in the State Congress have been silenced because of the high command’s disinterest, president of the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) Niranjan Patnaik now faces a new challenge from the party’s whip in the Assembly Tara Prasad Bahinipati.
Two days after threatening to quit the party on the issue of State leadership not paying him due importance, Bahinipati made a U-turn, but maintained that his fight against the OPCC president will continue from within the party.
Bahinipati said while BJD candidates are winning elections in the name of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and BJP candidates depending on the charisma of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress candidates are winning elections on their own and the OPCC president has no contribution.
Stating that Patnaik should step down because of his advancing age, Bahinipati said that instead of sorting out issues, he is creating more problems. Bahinipati had expressed his displeasure over the presence of former Congress MLA Kailash Kulesika on the dais during a press meet organised by party MP from Koraput, Saptagiri Ulaka.
Kulesika, former Congress legislator from Laxmipur Assembly constituency had resigned from the party. He had later withdrawn his resignation which was accepted by the party. But Bahinipati alleged that he had no information on Kulesika’s reinduction in the party. Wife of Bahinipati, Meenakshi Bahinipati is the president of the Koraput District Congress Committee and she had also threatened to resign over the issue.
However, Ulaka dismissed the allegations and said these are non issues. Kulesika had withdrawn his resignation which was accepted by the party. Odisha in-charge A Chellakumar and the OPCC president are aware of it. The Lok Sabha member said the press conference was called by him to present his demand to Railway Minister A Vaishnaw during his visit to the district.
As a former MLA from Laxmipur, Kulesika was on the dais. The DCC president and MLA candidates from the district were present. Bahinipati had left as he had some other engagement, Ulaka said and added that the demands of the district could not be highlighted because of such disturbances.