Veteran Congress leader and six-time MLA Suresh Routray Thursday announced his retirement from electoral politics and said his son, Manmath Routray, would contest the next polls from Jatani assembly constituency in Odisha.
Addressing a press conference here, the 80-year-old senior Congress leader said I will not contest elections any more.
However, my youngest son Manmath Routray will contest from Jatani assembly constituency on a Congress ticket.
Replying to a question, Routray said that he was a loyal Congress worker for the past 55 years and had no intention to change party affiliation in future.
I have already proved my loyalty to the party and served it for 55 years and never used the party for my personal gain. I am highly satisfied for working honestly for the party and will continue to do so even as I will not contest any elections, he said.
As Routrays press conference came barely a couple of days after he met BJD president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, speculations were rife that his son Manmath may join the regional party.
However, Routray rejected the speculation and said it was just a courtesy meeting.
"My son Sidharth has brought laurels to the state by scaling high-altitude peaks. I went to meet the CM to share my sons success story. Both CM and 5T secretary (VK Pandian) were happy to learn about my sons success," Routray told reporters.
Sidharth Routray had scaled Mt. Everest last year.
He clarified that he did not have any political discussions with the chief minister at the meeting.
The veteran leader, who considers former chief minister Harekrushna Mohatab as his political guru and is a follower of former chief minister J B Patnaik, was elected to the Odisha Assembly six times from the Jatani constituency.
In 1977, he won the seat on a Janata Party ticket. Later, he represented the constituency in 1980, 1985, 1995, 2000 and 2019 as a Congress MLA.