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Spat In Odisha Congress As Itish Demands Niranjan's Removal

12 September 2019

Debashish Maharana

Bhubaneswar:  Voices of dissent never seem rest in Odisha Congress which has been riddled with internal bickering for a long time. A fresh agitation against OPCC president Niranjan Patnaik is brewing in NSUI's Odisha unit now.

On Thursday, NSUI (Odisha) president Itish Pradhan charged Patnaik of ruining the prospects of the party in Odisha by patronising his family. Pradhan, who was once promoted by Patnaik, is now raising a voice against the party veteran.

"He is one of the highest tax-payers in Odisha. What has he done to strengthen Odisha. Rather Mr Niranjan Patnaik has been very focussed towards promoting the interests of his own family," the Pradhan said.

He questioned Patnaik's decision to field his son Navajyoti Patnaik as an Assembly candidate in 2019 elections. "What was his son's contribution to the party and the State? There were many candidates more eligible than him," Pradhan added.

"We will report all these irregularities to the Congress high command and demand the OPCC president's removal," the NSUI Odisha president said.

On the other hand, senior Congress leadership has rubbished Pradhan’s allegations. Jatni MLA Suresh Routray said advised the student leaders to focus on making Congress stronger in Odisha.

“The Urban elections are approaching. Our target should be to win maximum seats in these polls. Instead of strengthening the party, our people have a tendency to pull the leg of the leadership. I request them to refrain from mud-slinging,” said Routray.

Itish Pradhan, President, NSUI, Odisha

Suresh Routray, Jatni MLA