In a major jolt to Odisha Congress, party spokesperson Sonali Sahoo quit on Thursday, expressing displeasure over ticket distribution for assembly elections.
Sahoo’s exit comes two days after Pradesh Mahila Congress president Sumitra Jena resigned from the party, stating irregularities in the selection of candidates.
Jena, who joined the ruling BJD, has accused Congress state unit president Niranjan Patnaik of discrimination against the women members of the party.
Talking to reporters, Sahoo, who was a ticket aspirant from Khurda assembly seat, stated that she has sent her resignation letter to Patnaik. “I quit the party as I was not happy with the way tickets were distributed for the state polls,” she added.
With two women leaders quitting the Congress over ticket allotment, the party’s state unit chief clarified Thursday that he “did not recommend any candidate for the Lok Sabha or the assembly polls”. “It (candidate selection) is the decision of the party, not mine. The Congress has given the ticket to 83 debutants this time. The number of aspirants is much higher than the total number of seats. Therefore, resentment over ticket allotment is quite obvious,” Patnaik said.
Simultaneous assembly and Lok Sabha elections are being held in Odisha in four phases.