Ganjam Congress Wiped out, Sekhar,Bikram,Bhagaban join hands with BJD!
After the resignation of former Union minister Chandrasekhar Sahu from the Congress, five corporators of Berhampur Municipal Corporation (BeMC) quit the party here on Saturday.
Mr. Panda criticised the Congress for its alleged infighting, which according to him was the reason for leaving it.
It was a major show of strength for the BJD in Berhampur. Along with the CM, four State Ministers and several top leaders of the party were present at the public meeting to welcome these former Congress leaders.
On March 29, several key Congress leaders from Ganjam, including Mr. Sahu, Mr. Panda, Mr. Gantayat had sent their resignation letters to the AICC and the Pradesh Congress Committee.
Earlier, Sahu along with Ganjam DCC president Bhagaban Gantayat and OPCC secretary Bikram Panda had tendered their resignations from the Congress on March 29 citing ‘no future’ for them in the party.
In the 40-member BeMC, the Congress had 14 representatives. However, the resignations of five corporators has left the Congress with only one member in the BeMC. Earlier, two corporators had resigned from the party while one sitting member had passed away.
The five Congress corporators on Saturday met at Bikram Panda’s residence along with their supporters and sent their resignations from the primary membership of the party to the OPCC. The Congress leaders said that thousands of their supporters will also leave the party, adding that they would be announcing their joining any other party soon. Local MLA and Ganjam District Planning Board chairman Dr Ramesh Chandra Chyau Patnaik said the Congress leaders who quit their party are likely to join the Biju Janata Dal during the visit of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to Berhampur on April 4.
However, some Congress leaders, including Pitabasa Panda and Deepak Patnaik, said the resignations will have no impact on the party. OPCC’s disciplinary committee chairperson Sandhya Rani Mohapatra, who was in Berhampur on Friday, to take stock of the situation and salvage the party’s organisation in the district, said the leaders who are deserting the Congress are ‘opportunists.’Earlier, Chandrasekhar Sahu had said that the Congress is losing its base in Odisha due to mismanagement and infighting in the party’s organisation. He also alleged that since 2009, the Congress party had been neglecting him and his experience remained unutilised.
As a result, the scope of solving the public problems remained curtailed, he said. Not naming any party, Sahu said they would join a party which is capable of developing Ganjam district.
Contradicting Sahu’s version, Sandhya Rani said the Congress has never neglected its leaders. If Sahu was neglected in the party, how could he get party ticket to contest elections, become Union minister and also working president of the PCC in the past.
Similarly Panda, though unsuccessful, has been given party ticket to contest Assembly polls from Berhampur four times. Sandhya Rani said the Congress has strong base in Ganjam and soon steps would be taken to appoint committed Congress workers in various posts. On the other hand, political observers in the district said though the mass desertions from Congress has come as a boost for the BJD, it would also pose problems for the local BJD leaders trying to contest the ensuing urban body elections.
Deserting the party
About 50 leaders from Ganjam district, including former Union minister Chandrasekhar Sahu, had resigned from the party on Thursday.
Others who resigned include general secretary of Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee Bikram Panda, Ganjam District Congress Committee president Bhagaban Gantayat and Berhampur Nagar president Sanjit Panigrahy. Sahu, however, did not reveal the future course of action.
10 corporators of the Berhampur Municipal Corporation resign from the party
Adding to the continuing exodus from the party in Ganjam district of Odisha, 10 Congress corporators of the Berhampur Municipal Corporation (BeMC) resigned from the party on Saturday.
In the 40-member BJD-dominated BeMC, the Congress had 11 corporators.
These ten corporators were supporters of Mr. Sahu, Mr. Panda and Mr. Gantayat. They represented wards numbering 6, 7, 8, 20, 21, 29, 30, 33, 34 and 39.The corporators sent their resignation letters to the PCC expressing their displeasure over the working of the party in Odisha
Ganjam is the home district of the Odisha Chief Minister. Earlier it was a major bastion of the Congress due to which former Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao had decided to contest the Lok Sabha polls from the Berhampur parliamentary constituency. But with time, the Congress has lost out to the BJD in the district.At present all MPs and MLAs of the district are from the BJD.