Bhubaneswar: In further jolt to the Congress in Odisha, party’s Mahila wing president Sumitra Jena on Tuesday resigned from the party questioning the selection procedure of some candidates for the ensuing general and Assembly elections and protesting the autocratic attitude of Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Niranjan Patnaik.
She has sent her resignation letter to All India Mahila Congress chief Sushmitra Dev.
Jena, who was a ticket aspirant from Bhadrak Assembly segment, alleged that a group of outsiders and influential persons and mafia, having no link with the Congress and party affairs, were calling the shots while deserving candidates, including women aspirants were ignored.
“I had given a list of 52 women candidates for Assembly elections and eight women candidates for 21 Lok Sabha seats. But the PCC president did not give ticket to not a single candidate from the list,” said Jena.
Jena had earlier said though she had drawn the attention of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) about poor representation of women in the first two lists of candidates for the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections, nothing tangible happened as yet. She had also expressed her displeasure over non-inclusion of any of the women leaders from Odisha in the party’s 40-member star campaigners list.
The Congress had fielded women candidates only in eight out of 147 Assembly and two out of 21 Lok Sabha seats in 2014 elections.
Elections will be held in Odisha in four phases on April 11, 18, 23 and 29.