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After blaming BJP for ink attack on Odisha Congress chief Sarat Pattanayak, Congress party admits it was done by its own leaders, suspends 5 office bearers

Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee suspended Prakash Mishra, general secretary of Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC), Shriyasmita Panda, general secretary of Odisha Pradesh Mahila Congress, Sandip Routray, secretary of National Students' Union of India (NSUI), Amresh Parida, state secretary of Youth Congress and Aryan Sasmal, state secretary of National Students' Union of India (NSUI) in relation to the ink attack.

On 21st June, two masked men splattered Sarat Pattanayak, the president of the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee with ink at the party’s state headquarters in Bhubaneswar after which the party leaders including Pattanayak accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of carrying out the deed. However, on 23rd June, the party admitted that it was carried by its own leaders, and suspended five party office bearers over the incident.

In a notification issued on 22 June, Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee suspended Prakash Mishra, general secretary of Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC), Shriyasmita Panda, general secretary of Odisha Pradesh Mahila Congress, Sandip Routray, secretary of National Students’ Union of India (NSUI), Amresh Parida, state secretary of Youth Congress and Aryan Sasmal, state secretary of National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) in relation to the ink attack.

In the notification, OPCC disciplinary action committee chairman Santosh Singh Saluja said that the action was taken against the five office bearers on the basis of CCTV footage. Although two masked individuals had carried out the act, the party suspended 5 leaders, which means the others were also involved in the act.

The notice said, “On last 21.6.2024, Friday a disturbing incident occurred in Congress Bhawan President’s Chamber by some office bearers and Padadhikari of the party which is very indiscipline and damage the image of the party. Based on TV footage, for such antiparty and indiscipline activities Sarat Pattanayak, president of Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee has expelled the congress persons for a period of 6 years.” It was signed by Santosh Singh Saluja, chairman of the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) Disciplinary Action Committee.

Notably, some workers of the Youth Congress entered the party president’s office around 11.30 am on 21 June and vandalized the Congress Bhavan in addition to defacing Sarat Pattanayak’s chamber door. They also splashed blue ink on Sarat Pattanayak’s clothes, before absconding from the location. The Congress party then claimed that the attack was planned by the BJP. The president of Odisha Congress alleged that he had sustained a minor injury to his left eye.

Sarat Pattanayak later told journalists, “I am not scared by such incidents. Those jealous of the Congress’s growth in the state are behind it. The BJP or other conspirators behind these cowardly acts can’t halt our progress.” He further claimed, “As per the directions of AICC (All India Congress Committee), we were on our way to stage protests with students to expose the NEET scam under the ruling NDA government. However, a few miscreants threw ink at me. I don’t know if they had added acid, mobile, or any other substance to it because my eyes are burning. There is nothing to worry about. We are not scared. We are going to strengthen the Congress organisation in Odisha.”

The Congress leader added that the public is aware of the attacks he has experienced since the beginning of his political career, even while he was still a student. The Congress party expressed concern and disapproval at the incident and believed that the BJP or other opposing elements were behind it. Later, the Congressman took part in a protest against purported anomalies in the manner in which the NEET-UG 2024 exam was administered. Congress spokesperson Biswaranjan Mohanty also declared that a probe would be carried out into the matter and the necessary steps would be taken.

On the other hand, the Bharatiya Janata Party countered the allegations and its spokesperson Dilip Mallik argued that the occurrence resulted from a conflict within the Congress. He charged, “The ink attack was a reflection of anger among Congress workers against Pattanayak. Congress is pointing fingers at other parties in a bid to gain sympathy.” Now, the allegation of BJP has come true as the Congress party admitted that the ink attack was done by its own party leaders.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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