Congress expels Soumya Patnaik

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By SUBRAT DAS ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY SUNIL PATNAIK IN BERHAMPUR
  • Published 2.10.13
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Bhubaneswar, Oct. 1: The Congress today expelled former MP Soumya Ranjan Patnaik from the party for a period of six years for indulging in anti-party activities.

All India Congress Committee general secretary in charge of Odisha B.K. Hari Prasad said Patnaik had indulged in anti-party activities despite being served a show cause notice. Patnaik was earlier issued a show cause notice by the party’s disciplinary committee for holding rallies across the state.

He, however, had continued with his sankalpa yatra (resolve rallies). The disciplinary committee stated that Patnaik’s actions had sent a wrong message to the people, who saw the Congress as a divided house in the state.

Party sources said Patnaik’s suspension gave a clear signal that the party high command was solidly behind Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee president Jaydev Jena. “I will remain with the people,” said Patnaik, who edits an Odia daily and runs a local TV channel.

That the leadership was backing Jena became evident when Union rural development minister Jairam Ramesh had made it clear that the party would not tolerate indiscipline. Last week, Jena also met party vice-president Rahul Gandhi to apprise him of political developments in the state.

In the evening, Patnaik’s supporters pelted stones at OPCC disciplinary committee chief Harihara Karan’s house in Bhubaneswar and damaged his car.