Bhubaneswar: A day after the ouster of senior Congress leader Srikant Jena from the Manifesto Committee of the Odisha, chairman of OPCC Disciplinary Committee Hemananda Biswal on Friday said he was removed for indiscipline.
“Steps have been taken to make Srikant a disciplined leader. If he does not mend his ways, the party would issue him a show-cause notice. Besides, he may be suspended and if necessary, expelled from the party,” Hemananda told mediapersons here.
Coming down heavily on Jena, opposition chief whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati said the Congress is not a party of mining mafia and those who are trying to malign the party should quit immediately. The Disciplinary Committee would take appropriate action against those who are trying to split the party. “This is high time for Srikant to self-introspect as he had done damage to the party. The Congress supremo Rahul Gandhi and the OPCC president should seriously look into the matter,” he added.
OPCC president Niranjan Patnaik said the AICC has given the responsibility of the committee to a young and knowledgeable person, who can visit each district and interact with the people.
“Srikant is an astute and experienced leader. But the AICC has chosen Ganeswar Behera who is young and dynamic,” he added.
Referring to the indiscipline behaviour of Srikant and former Koraput MLA Krushna Chandra Sagaria, Niranjan said the party will seriously review the allegations against them for creating unrest in the party and action would be taken against them if found guilty. “The party will never tolerate any indiscipline,” he maintained.
Reacting to this ouster from the committee, Jena said he will visit each village and seek the opinion from the people.
“While preparing the preface of the party’s manifesto as the chairman, I had mentioned that if Congress comes to power in Odisha, the party should select a leader of the backward community as the chief minister. I had also mentioned about confiscation of properties of the mining mafia in the state. The AICC leader and Odisha in-charge Jitender Singh had requested me not to make the preface public. But I asked him to keep me out of the committee if he disagreed with the preface. Now, I am happy that he has removed me from the committee,” Jena told mediapersons here.,
Jena, however, maintained that he will stick to the issue raised in the preface of the manifesto.
“I will visit each village of Odisha and seek the opinion of the people. There will be an opinion box in each village. Let the people say whether they want the rule of two families or the rule of the 94 per cent of the people,” he pointed out.