Senior Congress leader and former Odisha Minister Ramkrushna Patnaik and his wife Kumudini Patnaik, a former MP, today said they have quit the party, alleging that it is being run by a "coterie".
The couple told reporters they have sent their resignation letters to OPCC President Jayadev Jena expressing their dismay over the manner the party is being run by a "coterie".
Ramkrushna said he and his wife, a former MP from Aska, had informed OPCC and AICC on January 25 that they would not be interested in contesting the 2014 polls. The district strongman, referred to as the 'Ganjam Tiger', said he had given a number of proposals to rejuvenate Congress at the grass root level but his suggestions for reforms had been ignored.
A five-time legislator from Kodala assembly constituency in Ganjam district, Ramakrushna had worked as minister holding portfolios of Finance and other important departments. His wife Kumudini said on being persuaded by the party leadership in the wake of January 25 letter, she had agreed to contest the coming Lok Sabha polls. "However, I decided to quit as there had been no change in its style of functioning," she alleged.
OPCC chief Jaydev Jena said he has not received the resignation letters so far. The couple was yet to decide about their future course about joining any other party. The development came three days after Nayagarh Congress President Hemendra Singh quit the party.