Odisha's Congress Bhawan ransacked twice, leaders point fingers at dissidents

Although the exact cause of ransacking is yet to be ascertained, senior leaders of the party indicated that it could be an act of the dissidents.

Published: 14th October 2021 08:08 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th October 2021 08:08 AM   |  A+A-

Office of Youth Congress president ransacked at Congress Bhawan.

Office of Youth Congress president ransacked at Congress Bhawan. (Photo | Irfana)

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: Amid growing rift within the Congress, the party’s Odisha headquarters Congress Bhawan at Master Canteen square was ransacked twice on Wednesday, October 13, 2021, prompting Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Niranjan Patnaik to order an inquiry into the incident. The miscreants also damaged the nameplate of the OPCC president. However, no police complaint has been made so far.

Miscreants sneaked into the Congress Bhawan early on Wednesday, October 13, 2021, and ransacked the Youth Congress office by breaking open the locked door. They entered the chamber of Youth Congress president Smruti Ranjan Lenka and ransacked the office property before fleeing the spot. Again in the evening, a group of youths, suspected to be party members, vandalised the office property in front of the chambers of the OPCC president and Mahila Congress president. The name plate of the State Congress chief was also found damaged.

The incidents come days after a group of disgruntled party workers staged a protest in front of the Congress Bhawan demanding removal of Niranjan Patnaik from OPCC president post for the dismal performance of the party in the Pipili by-election. Allegations were also levelled against Lenka that he meets and addresses grievances of only a selected few in the party.

Although the exact cause of ransacking is yet to be ascertained, senior leaders of the party indicated that it could be an act of the dissidents. Senior leader and Jatni MLA Suresh Routray said the ransacking was a conspiracy of dissidents to dent the party’s image in the State. “Some members aspiring for the OPCC president post want the party’s image to be tarnished so that they will be given a chance to lead it,” Routray alleged. He said that such things could be avoided if party high command Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi intervene and take action against them.

Youth Congress president Lenka said they have urged the OPCC president to look into the matter and take necessary action. Meanwhile, Patnaik who reportedly suspended the night watchman following the early morning incident, said that any kind of indiscipline in the party will not be tolerated. Patnaik asked party’s Bhubaneswar Zilla Committee president Biswajit Das to submit a detailed report on the incident to the OPCC. “Action will be taken on the basis of the report,” he said. 



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