Hurt over son joining BJD, veteran Congress leader quits posts in his party

Suresh Routray
Suresh Routray

Bhubaneswar | Six-time Odisha Congress MLA Suresh Routray resigned from all committees of his party on Wednesday, soon after his younger son Manmath Routray joined the ruling BJD and was named as its candidate for the Bhubaneswar Lok Sabha constituency.

`Routray, the MLA from Jatani, sent a letter to Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Sarat Pattanayak mentioning that since his son has joined the BJD, he would like to quit the party’s election committee and the campaign committee.

“My son Manmath Routray joined the BJD against my wishes. It has hurt me. Therefore, I am willing to tender resignation from all committees of the party,” the veteran party leader said in the letter.

The 80-year-old leader, however, said that he would remain in the Congress till the end of his life.

“I may pray for my son’s victory, but will not campaign for Manmath. I have appealed to my supporters to put their weight behind my son and ensure his win irrespective of the party,” Routray said.

Earlier on the day, Manmath Routray, a former commercial pilot, went to BJD headquarters Sankha Bhawan with his supporters in a procession. He was inducted into the party by its MPs Manas Mangaraj and Sasmit Patra.

"I will work for the ideology of my father and also Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. Both leaders have one agenda in life and that is development. I will work for the development of Odisha," he said.

Manmath resigned as a pilot of Air India in January.

He said, "My father wanted me to join the Congress, but I decided to start my political journey under Naveen Patnaik's leadership."

Manmath’s elder brother Siddharth Raoutray also disapproved of his joining the BJD going against their father’s wishes.

“My brother has brought down the image of my father which he built as a Congress leader in the last six decades. It is very difficult to create an identity of selflessness as my father has done in his lifetime,” Siddharth said.

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