Bhubaneswar: As top leaders of the OPCC prepare for a grand Rahul Gandhi show on January 25 in state capital Bhubaneswar, a section of the party MLAs are planning to quit the Congress ahead of the event.
On Wednesday, OPCC working president Nabakishore Das resigned from the party, saying he wanted to contest the next polls on a BJD ticket.
Sources said two more Congress MLAs – Prakash Behera of Salipur and Jogesh Singh of Sundargarh – were in touch with the BJD leadership and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
Rahul Gandhi is scheduled address a public rally in Bhubaneswar on January 25.
“Though it pains us that Nabakishore Das quit the party, we are not much worried about his departure. Some people who come to power to protect and promote their business interests indulge in such kind of cheap political activity. His exit from the Congress in a way will make way for entry of new and more energetic individuals who value service above opportunism,” said OPCC chief Niranjan Patnaik.
Sources said the BJD was eyeing at least six of the 16 MLAs Congress has in the 147-member Assembly.
The grand old party failed win a single Lok Sabha seat in the 2014 general elections.
The Congress, which ruled the state for over four decades has been out of power here in the province since 2000. It slipped to third position in the 2017 rural polls political, largely because of intra-party bickering, making way for the BJP to become the main contender of the ruling BJD.
In another development, minutes after Nabakishore Das resigned from the Congress, the party’s disciplinary committee chairperson Hemananda Biswal announced that the lawmaker was expelled from the party before his resignation.