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Expelled Congressman accuses top leaders of selling party tickets for money

Choudhury said the OPCC president cannot expel him as he was a member of the All India Congress Committee (AICC).

BHUBANESWAR: President of Cuttack district Congress Committee Manas Ranjan Choudhury, who was expelled from the party on Friday, stirred up a hornet’s nest by alleging that OPCC chief Sarat Pattanayak and Odisha in-charge Ajoy Kumar took money for distributing party tickets for the recently-concluded elections.

Addressing the media after his expulsion, Choudhury blamed Pattanayak and Kumar for the party’s defeat in the elections. He alleged that in majority of the seats, weak candidates were fielded to help the BJD. “Congress would have won around 40 Assembly seats but for these two leaders who were nowhere to be seen except at the meetings addressed by party president Mallikarjun Kharge and senior leader Rahul Gandhi,” he claimed.

Alleging that he was victimised for exposing the corrupt practices of the state leadership, Choudhury said Pattanayak and Kumar pocketed the entire money sent by the party for candidates. He claimed that candidates in 14 Lok Sabha and 80 Assembly seats were not given any fund. They gave party tickets to those who made the highest bidding. The Congress fight was not visible in 100 Assembly seats.

He further alleged that the party did not give him the expulsion letter directly. “I came to know about my expulsion from social media and my associates. On Friday, the OPCC president called me to his office and handed over the letter to me.”

Choudhury said the OPCC president cannot expel him as he was a member of the All India Congress Committee (AICC). “Only the Congress president or AICC has the power to expel me from the party. The expulsion letter was issued on June 2. I had mailed a letter to Rahul Gandhi and AICC president Mallikarjun Kharge a day before accusing the two leaders of being responsible for the poor performance of the party in the elections,” he said.

Pattanayak, however, termed the allegations as baseless. “The AICC president had stated here that the party’s accounts were seized and Congress was fighting the elections without funds,” he added.

The New Indian Express