"There must be a time limit to remain in politics. There should be a retirement age for politicians also," he said.

He said this while replying a question on dissidence within Congress in Odisha. Though he did not take name of any senior leader behind the dissident groups within the party, Ramesh made an apparent reference to JB Patnaik, former Chief Minister and present Governor of Assam.

Patnaik's son-in-law and former MP Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, meanwhile, has been issued a show cause notice by the disciplinary committee of the OPCC for allegedly running a parallel organization.

On the Congress' debacle in the recently concluded urban local body elections in the state, Ramesh said, "We will crack the whip against the dissidents in the party soon. The party is paramount and nobody is above the party. If any individual thinks that he is above the party, then he is free to leave."

"We will not tolerate multiple centers of power in Congress. Congress is one organization and PCC president has the full authority to act against dissidents,” Ramesh said.

Ramesh had a closed door meeting with some senior leaders, including OPCC president Jaydev Jena, former Chief Minister Giridhari Gamang and Leader of the Opposition Bhupindar Singh to discuss possible action against the dissidents.

Jena had earlier said that the party will take action against certain leaders those who fielded candidates against official candidates in the ULBs polls.

(Agencies)

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