Congress expels five leaders over ink attack on OPCC chief

Congress disciplinary committee Sanstosh Singh Saluja said that the action was taken against the office-bearers on the basis of CCTV footage.
OPCC president Sarat Pattanayak covered in ink on Friday
OPCC president Sarat Pattanayak covered in ink on Friday Photo | Express

BHUBANESWAR: Congress on Sunday expelled five office-bearers of different wings of the party in connection with the ink attack on the president of Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) Sarat Pattanayak at the Congress Bhawan here. The incident took place in the chamber of the president at the party headquarters.

OPCC president Sarat Pattanayak covered in ink on Friday
OPCC president faces ink attack in Congress bhawan

Those expelled include OPCC general secretary Prakash Mishra, general secretary of Odisha Pradesh Mahila Congress Shriyasmita Panda, secretary of the state Congress Amresh Parida and two secretaries of the state unit of National Students’ Union of India Sandip Routray and Aryan Samal.

Stating that this was an act of indiscipline aimed at damaging the party’s image, the chairman of the Congress disciplinary committee Sanstosh Singh Saluja said that the action was taken against the office-bearers on the basis of CCTV footage.

Meanwhile, intense factionalism is back to haunt the Congress just after the elections. Six out of the 14 MLAs belonging to the scheduled tribe community led by party MP Saptagiri Ulaka met party president Mallikarjun Kharge at New Delhi on Sunday.

Though Ulaka claimed the party MLAs made a courtesy call on Kharge, sources said the legislators met the party president to lobby for the post of leader of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP). The tribal MLAs who are nine out of the total 14 Congress legislators, favour Pottangi MLA Ramchandra Kadam to be appointed as the CLP leader while Jeypore legislator Taraprasad Bahinipati, a five-time MLA, is also in the race. Ulaka said tribal representatives from Odisha (one MP and nine MLAs) will also meet former Congress president Rahul Gandhi within next couple of days.

The CLP, which had met here recently in presence of Odisha in-charge Ajoy Kumar and the OPCC president, had shortlisted two names - Bahinipati and Kadam - for the post of CLP leader. Sources said the name of the CLP leader will be announced soon.

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