Bhubaneswar: Odisha unit of Congress has issued a notice to its MLA Sura Routray who claimed that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik “takes the final call” on the appointment of his party’s state unit president.
Routray, who often courts controversy, recently made the statement amid the Congress’s search for a new president for its Odisha unit.
Niranjan Patnaik, the incumbent state Congress president, said Routray’s remarks tarnished the party’s image.
“Such kind of statement is not expected from a senior party leader like you. You are requested to submit a satisfactory reply soon explaining under what circumstances you gave the statement,” Patnaik said in the notice to Routray.
Routray said he has not made any “blunder” by making the comment and would not apologise to the party.
“The state Congress president himself and senior leader Jaydev Jena have spoken in similar vein earlier. They should first apologies for their statements. There is no question of seeking an apology for my slip of tongue,” he said.
Hitting out at the Congress, the BJP said that the comment proved that the opposition party was hand in gloves with the ruling BJD, headed by the chief minister.
The Congress is looking to appoint a new state president within a week, after a series of dismal electoral performances, including the recently-held panchayat and civic polls. Niranjan Patnaik had submitted his resignation as the state Congress president after the 2019 elections, but is yet to be relieved from the post.