BHUBANESWAR: Differences have cropped up within Odisha Congress over Droupadi Murmu’s candidature in the presidential election with a section coming out in support of her. Senior party leader and MLA Suresh Kumar Routray on Saturday said he will seek help from party high command to unanimously elect NDA candidate Murmu as the next President of India.
Routray told media persons here that as an Odia he is proud that Murmu, a tribal lady from Odisha, has been announced as the presidential candidate of the NDA. “As an Odia, I am very happy and want that party president Sonia Gandhi should take steps for the unanimous election of Murmu as the next President of India,” he stated.
The Congress MLA said that he will write to the party president in this regard. He, however, maintained that he will go with any decision of the high command. While other MLAs of the party have not come out in open support of Routray, it is suspected that some of them are likely to go for the NDA candidate.
Congress has nine MLAs in Odisha and all of them will be proposers for the Opposition candidate Yashwant Sinha. The MLAs who were summoned to New Delhi for an organisational meeting recently have been asked to go by party line in the presidential election.
Besides, both president of the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee Sarat Pattanayak and leader of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) Narasingha Mishra had announced support for the Opposition candidate and said that party MLAs will not support Murmu.
However, sources said that as the Odisha CLP is faction-ridden and some of the MLAs want a change of the leadership of the legislature party, they may not go by party line and vote for the NDA candidate.