JB sees ‘frequent change of guard’ behind Cong failure in Odisha

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Bhubaneswar: Frequent change in party leadership is the main reason behind the failure of Congress in Odisha in last two decades, former Chief Minister Janaki Ballav Patnaik said while speaking to mediapersons here today.

“Once chosen, the new leadership should be given enough time as people dislike changes in quick succession. If anyone does not succeed, further chance should not be given to him/her,” Patnaik said.

Further, he added, every party experiences ups and downs over a period of time. “Keeping things right is the job of the party’s high command,” the veteran Congress leader said.

When approached, his wife and former party MP Jayanti said, “He is in favour of strengthening the party in the state and would give his advice whenever it will be sought.” Her husband has been an integral part of the party and will remain so in the future too, she added.

Meanwhile, sources said 12 party MLAs and a former MLA met party vice-president Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi this evening and discussed about change in the state leadership.

Earlier in the day, Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) chief Jayadev Jena, who is apparently facing the toughest challenge to his leadership since he assumed the post for the second time, told the media that lobbying or groupism does not work in bringing about a leadership change in the party.

The issue should have been discussed in the party forum and not outside it, he said when asked to comment on the get-together organised by former CM Hemanand Biswal at his residence on the eve of Patnaik’s home-coming yesterday after completing his gubernatorial stint in Assam.

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