Congress Names New Puri Candidate As Sucharita Mohanty Drops Out Over Lack Of Funds

Congress on Saturday night named Jay Narayan Patnaik as its candidate for the Puri Lok Sabha seat in Odisha after Sucharita Mohanty pulled out of the race, claiming that the party denied her funds for her campaign.

In a statement issued by Congress general secretary KC Venugopal, the party said its president Mallikarjun Kharge approved the candidature of Mr Patnaik in place of Ms Mohanty.

Sucharita Mohanty, the daughter of former Congress MP Brajamohan Mohanty, in a mail to Mr Venugopal on Friday claimed that her campaign was hit hard because the party denied her funding.

She alleged that Congress in-charge of the state Ajoy Kumar “categorically” asked her to fight from her own resources.

“I was a salaried professional journalist who entered electoral politics 10 years ago. I have given all I have into my campaign in Puri. I tried a public donation drive to support my campaign for progressive politics without much success so far. I also tried to cut down the projected campaign spending to the minimum,” she said.

Ms Mohanty said that she approached all senior leaders of the party for funds.

“It is clear that only fund crunch is holding us back from a winning campaign in Puri. I regret that without party funding, it won’t be possible to carry out the campaign in Puri. I, therefore, return the party ticket for the Puri Lok Sabha constituency herewith,” she said in her mail.

Ms Mohanty said she will remain a loyal Congress worker.

Later, she told reporters that in assembly segments under the Puri Lok Sabha constituency, weak candidates were given tickets by the Congress.

“BJP and BJD are sitting on mountains of money. Vulgar displays of wealth are everywhere. It was difficult for me to fight the election,” she said.

Reacting to her claims, Mr Kumar said, “Funds will be provided to a candidate when the candidate launches the campaign and seriously fights at the ground.”

The BJP has fielded its national spokesperson Sambit Patra in Puri, while the BJD candidate is ex-IPS Arup Patnaik, a former Mumbai Police commissioner.

Puri will vote on May 25. 

Enable Notifications OK No thanks