Trouble in Odisha Congress far from over

Doctor-turned-politico Aswini Pujahari recently resigned from the Congress after joining the grand old party just a few months back, on the eve of the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in the state. File photo for representation

Doctor-turned-politico Aswini Pujahari recently resigned from the Congress after joining the grand old party just a few months back, on the eve of the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in the state.

A popular physician from western Odisha and a former director of Veera Surendra Sai Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (VIMSAR), the region’s biggest government-run health facility, Pujahari had unsuccessfully contested from the Sambalpur Assembly seat coming in third behind BJP and the BJD.

Pujahari is not a figure whose decision to quit the party would create a flutter in Congress, but his resignation assumes significance because of the reasons he cited for his decision to quit the party.

The doctor said he was not only humiliated by his own party colleagues but was verbally abused by some party workers at a recently held Congress meeting which was convened to examine the reasons behind the party’s drubbing.

He also reportedly alleged that he had not received any support from Sambalpur DCC(district Congress committee) during the polls.

Pujahari's resignation brings to fore the fact that trouble within the state unit of the Congress is far from over. This is also an indication that the infighting, which played a key role in the party’s humiliating defeat in the twin polls, continues unabated.

In the recent past, not just Pujahari but several Congress leaders, including some party heavyweights, have quit the party both before and after the twin elections, expressing displeasure over the state of affairs in the state unit of the organisation. Many are doing exceedingly well after joining other outfits.

A case in point is Naba Kishore Das, a former acting president of the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC). He had quit the party and the important post to join the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and contested the Assembly polls from his home constituency of Jharsuguda in western Odisha.

He is now a cabinet minister in the Naveen Patnaik government, heading an important department like health and family welfare.

Comments (+)