Odisha Congress President Sarat Pattnayak attacked with ink

State Congress President Sarat Pattnayak said there were concerted efforts to weaken the party 

Published - June 21, 2024 01:42 pm IST

Odisha Pradesh Congress president Sarat Pattnaik is seen with his inked dressed after ink thrown by some of their party people at a election failure party review meeting in Bhubaneswar.

Odisha Pradesh Congress president Sarat Pattnaik is seen with his inked dressed after ink thrown by some of their party people at a election failure party review meeting in Bhubaneswar. | Photo Credit: BISWARANJAN ROUT

Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee president Sarat Pattnayak was doused with ink allegedly by some ‘disgruntled’ element of the party on June 21. 

Some party activists entered Mr. Pattnayak’s chamber at Congress Bhawan, the State headquarters of the Congress party, here under the guise of greetings him. However, they unexpectedly threw ink at him.

At that moment, the OPCC President was getting ready to join the party’s nationwide protest against the irregularities in the 2024 National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test-Undergraduate (NEET-UG) examination. Following the incident, the culprits swiftly exited the Congress office and blended into the surrounding crowd.

The incident took place after a fortnight of declaration of election results. Though Congress has improved its tally in assembly election from nine in 2019 to 14 this year, its vote percentage had dipped. In 2019, Congress had secured 17.02% while this year its vote share was 13.26%.

Mr. Pattnayak and all former State Congress presidents who fought election lost their elections respectively. Some party leaders had then expressed dissatisfaction over candidate selection process. The State Congress president had himself shifted to Nuapada assembly constituency from his home district of Balangir.

“I don’t know who the people are. After the colorful liquid splashed on me, my eyes started to hurt. Congress stands for non-violence while others believe in Nathuram Godse’s ideology. Congress has been through in its ups and downs. I have spent 40 years in politics. At times you are garlanded and sometime you get brickbats. Such is the nature of politics,” said Odisha Congress President in its reaction.

Mr. Pattnayak said, “I would not get bowed down to such threats. I have reached the position by fighting against all odds since my days in student politics. The miscreants could have acted at behest of Bharatiya Janata Party or some other vested interest groups. Law will take its own course.”

“There are concerted efforts to weaken Congress. The party would not spare anyone who is part of the conspiracy,” he said. The Congress president took part in the agitation with stained cloth. Stating that BJP government had spoiled future of students, Mr. Pattnayak said voice of Congress cannot be stifled with such tactic.

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