Congress faces rebellion in BerhampurApr 1st, 2009 | By Elections2009 | Category: Orissa
Sib Kumar Das
Dipak Kumar Patnaik
BERHAMPUR: History may repeat for the third time in Berhampur. The official Congress candidate, Bikram Panda, is likely to face rebellion and infighting in the Berhampur assembly segment. Dipak Patnaik, youth leader of the party has decided to turn rebel and file nomination as independent candidate for the Berhampur assembly seat. On Saturday, the All India Congress Committee (AICC) declared Mr. Panda as the party’s candidate from Berhampur assembly segment. Mr. Panda filed his nomination papers for the seat on Friday.
Speaking to The Hindu, Mr Patnaik said he would file his nomination papers as an independent against the official Congress candidate, Mr. Panda on Monday. He said it was his token protest against the Berhampur MP and Union Minister of State Chandrasekhar Sahu’s political activities, which according to him had weakened the party organisation. Mr. Sahu would contest from Berhampur parliamentary constituency again as the Congress candidate.
Mr. Patnaik said, “Mr. Panda, who had been defeated from the Berhampur assembly seat twice in succession, can manage to regain party ticket due to intervention of Mr. Sahu”. “Despite my rebellion I will continue to identify myself as a the Congressman ”, he added. Infighting in the City Congress Committee is surely going to affect the electoral prospects of Mr. Sahu in the Berhampur parliamentary constituency.
Rebellion and infighting in the Congress is nothing new in Berhampur. Mr. Sahu himself had turned rebel and fought as an independent from Berhampur assembly seat in 2000. He was suspended from the party then for this rebellion. In 2004, former Ganjam district Congress president Alekh Choudhury was the rebel. He fought the assembly polls from Berhampur as an independent. On both the occasions, Mr. Panda was the official candidate of the Congress.
The infighting in the Congress has helped R.C.C. Patnaik to win from Berhampur assembly seat thrice in a row since 1995 as Janata Dal and BJD candidate. The BJD has repeated him as its candidate. Mr. Dipak Patnaik is the son of former Congress MLA of Berhampur and State Minister, Krushna Patnaik.