Three senior Congress leaders including two MLAs in Odisha were served show cause notices by the party today following certain remarks made by them after the recent panchayat polls.
Chairperson of the Disciplinary Committee of Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC), Sandhya Mohapatra sent the show cause notices to the leaders asking them to explain as to why action should not be taken for their statements to the media, party sources said. Mohapatra said notices were sent to Tara Prasad Bahinipati, Prafulla Majhi (both legislators) and Ananta Sethi. She, however, declined to give details about the content of the notice.
The move by the state party unit was initiated in the wake of certain remarks made by the three leaders about OPCC President Prasad Harichandan and AICC’s Odisha In-Charge B K Hariprasad after the Congress suffered set-back in the three-tier panchayat elections held last month in the state.
The three leaders, however, denied having indulged in any acts of indiscipline or anti-party activities. Stating that he was yet to receive any notice from the PCC, Bahinipati said “I have never indulged in indiscipline. I have not done anything against the party. I will do the needful after receiving the notice.”
Speaking on similar line, Majhi said he never made any statement against the party and whatever he said was aimed at benefiting and strengthening the Congress in the state.
“I will reply after I receive the notice,” he said adding his statement should not be twisted and interpreted in different manner.
Majhi, MLA from Talsara assembly constituency, had also made allegation of horse-trading during Sundargarh Zilla Parishad Chairman election on March 12. PCC has taken steps to examine the allegations made by him, PCC sources said.
Ananta Sethi, a former MP, said he has never indulged in acts of indiscipline during his political career spanning more than three decades.
Meanwhile, Zilla Parishad member of Umerkote in Nabarangpur district Rabindra Dhal and Zilla Parishad member of Gunupur in Rayagada district Laxmi Sabar were suspended by the OPCC for flouting the party whip in Zilla Parishad (ZP) chairman election.
Harichandan faced criticism from some sections in the party after the Congress severe drubbing in the rural bodies elections last month. The strength of Congress, which occupied the second position with 128 Zilla Parishad seats in 2012 panchayat polls, was reduced to only 60 seats this time.
The main opposition party in the state was pushed to the third position as ruling BJD candidates captured 473 Zilla Parishad seats followed by BJP with 297.