**Bhubaneswar: ** The war of words between Odisha Congress MLAs and senior party leader Suresh Routray has taken an ugly turn these days.
It all started with Congress chief whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati and former minister Suresh Chandra Routray, fondly called Sura Routray.
Notably, the MLAs led by Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra are at loggershead with the incumbent Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president Prasad Harichandan since long.
The legislators are hell bent on his change and revamp of the present PCC structure for rejuvenating the sagging fate of Congress in Odisha for which they have been pressing their demand before the Congress high command and the Delhi Durbar’s inordinate delay in taking decision and allegedly studied silence has added fuel to the strong wave of resentment.
Earlier, Congress leader Sura Routray in his media reactions to the mission of the MLAs had uttered, “Anybody who goes against PCC president Prasad Harichandan will face dire consequences.”
The already ignited spat between Bahinipati and Routray further aggravated the ongoing spar as some more MLAs started spitting venom.
Former Congress MP Ananta Sethi said, “The war of words doesn’t augur well for the party organisation here. We very often downplay Suru Babu’s statements because he is of the nature of praising Naveen Patnaik while with him at a function, also with Modi. Reacting sharply to PCC change of guard is obvious on his part as his son-in-law is the PCC chief. So far the organisation is concerned, the PCC chief need to be aware of such developments. He should stop it soon. His (Sura) caustic comments hurled at the Leader of Opposition is absolutely wrong. I hope the PCC chief should soon convene a meeting in this regard and resolve it at the earliest. It’s never a good sign for Congress party and its organisation.”
Another Congress MLA Ansuman Mohanty remarked, “The ongoing spat is harmful to the party and its organisational strength. It’s disappointing. We have been demanding for change of guard and will stick to our guns. Sura Babu is a senior leader and all love him. But, such type of statements by him is unfortunate.”
In his reactions, senior Congress MLA Prafulla Majhi said, “It’s crytal clear that Congress party has been at loss in Odisha. PCC chief is unable to deliver. The way his father-in-law (Sura Routray) is spitting venom at the MLAs, it’s condemnable. Being a very senior Congressman, he should better understand its justification. Who is he to pass such comments? If the MLAs will not interfere into PCC matter, who else then? The MLAs cast their votes for the presidential candidate. Is Sura Routray PCC vice-president or general secretary or spokesperson? He is stooping to personal level comments. He ought to desist from it.”
On the contrary, Suresh Routray in his reactions said, “PCC president has asked me to shut my mouth even if anybody assaults me. If anybody dares to beat him (PCC chief Prasad Harichandan), I’ll bang him severely. I’ll forget politics and party. I’m born in this soil and hail from Khandayat clan. However, I’ve assured him to shut my mouth. Hence, I’m tightlipped since yesterday. I’ve nothing to say further. All are good in our party.”