Massive use of black money by BJD, BJP influenced voters: Cong

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Bhubaneswar: Making himself accountable to the miserable show of Congress in the three-tier Panchayat polls which was concluded in Odisha today, president of Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) Prasad Harichandan said there are other factors responsible for the dismal performance of his party.

“Both BJP and BJP managed to influence the voters through massive use of black money. Both the parties spent huge money in their poll campaign and toured districts in helicopters. Congress failed to match them in terms of use of money and muscle power and misuse of government machinery. My party does not believe in such politics,” Harichandan told media persons at Jayadev Bhawan here.

Talking about the results, he said the unofficial results of the five-phase polls have been flashed in the media. The official announcement by the State Election Commission (SEC) would be made on February 23 and 25. “As the president of the State Congress, I hold myself responsible for the pathetic show of my party in this Panchayat polls due to lack of proper planning and coordination,” he said.

Referring to the impressive electoral gains made by BJP as suggested in the trends, Harichandan said the show was temporary and the party should not conclude that a similar pattern would be repeated in the Assembly elections in 2019.

Stating that Congress would review the political scenario in the aftermath of the Panchayat polls, the OPCC president said future strategies would be worked out after the results of Assembly elections being held in some states are announced next month.

Respecting people’s mandate and welcoming the winning candidates, Harichandan said the massive defeat of Congress has deeply hurt the sentiments of the thousands of people who love the party dearly. “But I am sure the undaunted workers of my party with never-say-die mindset are immensely capable to strengthen the party. Congress has always stood firmly behind the people and fought for the poor and downtrodden. If we continue our fight for the people to give them their due, they will repose their faith on us,” the OPCC chief pointed out.

Harichandan thanked his party colleague and Jharsuguda MLA Naba Das under whose deft leadership Congress came out with flying colours and is all set to form Zilla Parishad. He also welcomed the party workers and leaders of Rayagada and Gajapati districts where Congress remained ahead of other parties.

Expressing his gratitude to the party workers, he said Congress would remain indebted to those who have stood by it during adverse circumstances.

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