Odisha: Niranjan‘s ‘one man, one post‘ formula triggers resentment among Congress leaders

BHUBANESWAR: Congress state president Niranjan Patnaik’s advocacy of ‘one man one post‘ policy that denies tickets to those, holding party office-bearer posts, has triggered rumbling in the party with some leaders demanding rollback of the decision. Former minister Suresh Kumar Routray, who holds of the post of president of party’s Khurda district committee, said the same policy should also be applied to Niranjan and two MLAs, who are working presidents of the party.

“If I cannot contest elections just because I hold the post of Khurda district president, will the same formula be applied to Niranjan Patnaik, who holds the post of Pradesh Congress Committee president? Likewise, MLA Naba Kishore Das and MLA Chiranjib Biswal, who are also working presidents of the party, may not be eligible to get tickets,” Routray stated.

Some other office bearers, who requested anonymity, questioned such the policy and demanded immediate revocation of the decision. “We have been working hard for the party. Even though we hold posts, what is the harm in contesting elections,” asked another leader.

On June 5, Niranjan said the party would adopt ‘one man one post’ policy to give equal opportunity to all workers to serve the party. Niranjan said this after Salipur MLA Prakash Chandra Behera relinquished the post of president of Congress unit. Behera said he quit the district president post to encourage others to take up the work. Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) already appealed to its MLAs to give up different posts they hold in districts so that others get chance. Niranjan earlier said that the potential candidates for the upcoming elections have been advised to relinquish their office-bearer posts and concentrate on improving their organisational works in constituencies. He had hinted that the district committee presidents are unlikely to get tickets.

While Niranjan was unavailable for comment, party’s working president Pradeep Majhi said deviations may be made during distribution of tickets. “The ‘one man one post’ policy may be tweaked for potential candidates, who hold office bearer posts,” Majhi said.

Meanwhile, the party’s MLA Krishna Chandra Sagaria on Sunday questioned the appointment of Meenakshi Bahinipati as president of Koraput district Congress committee. Meenakshi is wife of Congress Jeypore MLA Tara Prasad Bahinipati. Sagaria, who on Saturday slammed Tara for allegedly making casteist remark on him, said Meenakshi never worked for the welfare of the party in Koraput district. Meenakshi denied the charges and said Sagaria has no rights to judge her functioning.

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