Srikant Jena, who was recently expelled from the primary membership of the Congress has dropped a ‘bombshell’ after he accused the Congress party president Rahul Gandhi of surrendering himself before the Patnaik family and mining mafias in Odisha.
Expressing relief over his exit from the Congress party, Jena threatened Congress president Rahul Gandhi of holding “an explosive press conference” during Gandhi’s scheduled visit to Odisha. Jena has also claimed that he would expose the Congress president to such an extent that the latter would “not be able to show his face in public”.
“I am glad that I am relieved from the responsibility of remaining in the Congress party. I had written many letters to Rahul Gandhi asking whether he will stand with Patnaik brothers and mining mafias or with the people of Odisha,” Mr Jena told at a press conference.
Srikant Jena,expelled Congress leader: Rahul Gandhi chose to stand with mining mafias&Patnaik brothers.This is not expulsion,I had already written a letter requesting him to accept my proposition or else relieve me from the party.I wanted to expose him but he has exposed himself. https://t.co/TKh8QExbwx
— ANI (@ANI) January 20, 2019
Jena, who was also an All India Congress Committee member and former Union Minister claimed that the Congress was scheming with the Biju Janata Dal to encourage the rule of Patnaiks, allegedly referring to Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik and Odisha Congress President Niranjan Patnaik.
Targetting the Congress President, Jena said, “Rahul Gandhi has chosen to allow a rule of the Patnaiks over the interests of the people of Odisha. I will travel across the state to expose the Congress leadership for what it is. This is not expulsion, I had already written a letter requesting him to accept my proposition or else relieve me from the party. I wanted to expose him but he has exposed himself.”
It is notable here that Jena had been opposed to present OPCC chief Niranjan Patnaik being appointed. Niranjan Patnaik’s family in into a host of successful businesses, mining included. His brother and media bigwig Soumya Patnaik had joined BJD last year.
“This is just the beginning. On January 25, I will give certain facts. The full country will know what Rahul Gandhi is and what he is protecting,” he said.
Along with Jena, Krushna Chandra Sagaria, a former MLA from Koraput was also expelled from the Congress for anti-party activities. Sagaria had already resigned as MLA in October last year, for “failing to provide justice” to a young Dalit rape victim in Kunduli who eventually committed suicide.
The Congress now seems to be in trouble in Odisha as few days prior to this, it’s working president Naba Kishore Das and tribal MLA Jogesh Singh resigned from the party to join BJD last week. At least six more sitting MLAs are reportedly likely to quit and join the BJD. In 2014 assembly elections, Congress was humiliated after it won just 16 seats in the 147 seat assembly with a mere 25.7 per cent of the votes polled. Following the defections of Naba Kishore Das and Jogesh Singh and the expulsion of Sagaria and Jena, the strength of Congress party in the House has come down to 12.