Paradip Politics: Bapi Sarkhel Quits Congress Days After Wife Joins BJD

Bhubaneswar: With elections in Odisha barely weeks away, Congress leader Arindam Sarkhel, popularly known as Bapi Sarkhel, resigned from all posts, including primary membership of the party, on Thursday.

“I would like to concentrate and put my entire effort towards the betterment and social upliftment of the workers, which happens to be my dream throughout my journey as a trade union leader,” he wrote in his resignation letter to Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee President Sarat Pattanayak.

This came days after his wife Monideepa Sarkhel joined the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) along with her supporters, including vice-chairperson of Paradip municipality Chhabilata Rout.

Speculation is rife that he might also join the regional party, which may pick either him or his wife as MLA candidate from Paradip. Arindam had contested from Paradip assembly seat as a Congress candidate and lost to BJD’s veteran Damodar Rout in 2014 and his son Sambit Routray in 2019.

Furthermore, he had been staying away from Congress politics for last three years, having floated his non-political organisation ‘Aam Paradip, Ama Pragati’, who members contested both panchayat and urban elections as independents.

Chhabilata Rout is also a member of this outfit.

Sambit, on the other hand, has been facing internal factions, new rival aspirants as well as rising influence of BJP in the constituency. Locals leaders are also disappointed with the MLA’s performance in the last five years and even said to have threatened to oppose his nomination in the upcoming elections.




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