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Congress expels former union minister Srikant Jena, ex-MLA Sagaria

The announcement was made late at night by Odisha Congress' disciplinary committee convener Ananta Prasad Sethi.

Congress expels former union minister Srikant Jena, ex-MLA Sagaria

The Congress on Saturday expelled former Union Minister Srikant Jena and former MLA Krushna Chandra Sagaria for alleged anti-party activities, news agency PTI reported quoting a senior leader.

The announcement was made late on Saturday night by Odisha Congress' disciplinary committee convener Ananta Prasad Sethi.

"Both Jena and Sagaria have been expelled from the party as per the approval of the All India Congress Committee," PTI reported quoting Sethi's statement.

They issued anti-party statements to the media causing damage to the Congress and were expelled from the primary membership of the party, Sethi added.

"They also issued remarks against OPCC (Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee) functionaries," the Congress leader alleged. 

While Jena was a former Union Minister in the previous UPA government, Dalit leader Sagaria represented Koraput in the state assembly. 

Sagaria had in November resigned from the membership of the Odisha assembly, as he was allegedly upset over failing to ensure justice for a rape and murder victim and her family at Kunduli in Koraput district. 

Earlier in the day, Sagaria had strongly criticised OPCC president Niranjan Patnaik.

"Congress is not a property of Niranjan Patnaik. He is indulging in anti-party activities by giving statements on who will get ticket or not in the media," Sagaria had said.

The action against Jena and Sagaria comes just two days after Congress suspended Sundergarh MLA Jogesh Singh from the party due to anti-party activities. Singh resigned from the party on Friday.

Earlier, OPCC working president and Jharsuguda MLA Naba Kishore Das had quit the party and joined the ruling Biju Janata Dal headed by Naveen Patnaik.