Mass exodus of leaders a worry for Cong in Odisha

 Large scale exodus of leaders on a daily basis has turned out to be a major headache for the Odisha unit of the Congress. 

The party is facing a formidable opponent in the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD), besides the BJP, in the upcoming Assembly and Lok Sabha polls.

In addition to district level functionaries, several senior party leaders, including sitting MLAs, former ministers and former MLAs, have already left the party expressing their dissatisfaction over the style of functioning at the state and central level.

In the last 24 hours alone, around half a dozen leaders have deserted the party. They include two former MLAs.

Reports that several other leaders, including a few sitting MLAs, are contemplating on quitting the party in the next few days has further added to the woes. Apart from two sitting MLAs, including former leader of the opposition in the Assembly Bhupinder Singh, who inflicted a major blow to the Congress’ image by joining the ruling BJD, other senior leaders who have already left the party include former state ministers Ramakrishna Patnaik, Kamala Das, former MLAs Umesh Swain, B P Das, Sura Sethi and senior leader Arya Kumar Gyanendra.

Patnaik, who left the Congress along with wife Kumudini, a former Lok Sabha MP, has already met the BJP state unit president K V Singhdeo, triggering speculations about his possible entry into the saffron party.  Similarly, Das and Swain held discussions with Chief Minister and BJD chief Naveen Patnaik two days ago about joining the ruling party.

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