After the severe drubbings in the Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, the Congress in Odisha asserted that it is not disheartened by the electoral outcome even as leaders and workers of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) celebrated their party’s stupendous electoral victories at the party office in Bhubaneswar.
Speaking to the media, president of the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) Sarat Pattanayak put up a brave front and took a sharp dig at the BJP and the BJD on Sunday.
Flashing a smile, the Congress veteran said, “The BJP in Odisha has nothing to do with the electoral victories in the three states, no matter how much they celebrate the poll outcome here. In Odisha, the BJP and BJD are together and one entity. But the BJP leaders in the three states have reasons to celebrate the poll performance. We have nothing to object to it.”
The PCC president also asserted that the poll results of the three states will have no impact in Odisha in the 2024 election. “Congress is the only alternative to the BJP and the BJD in Odisha. All Congress workers are not disheartened by the poll results. They are still as spirited as before,” he asserted.
"We will adopt the same strategy against the BJD in Odisha and win the elections in 2024," Pattnayak said, adding there was no doubt that people have considered Congress as alternative because of the close proximity between the BJD and the BJP.
Justifying his claim, Pattnayak said political analysts should not forget that the Congress, which had only 10 MLAs after the 1990 elections, returned to power in 1995. Therefore, there is nothing to be surprised if the party comes to power in Odisha. The OPCC president said the AICC will analyse the reasons behind the party's defeat in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. He said in both the states, anti-incumbency may be the factor.
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As for the BJP’s stupendous poll success, BJD leader Samir Ranjan Dash observed that the national parties contesting elections and winning elections at the national level are quite different from contesting elections in Odisha. The poll results will not impact elections in Odisha at all.
“People of Odisha have much faith in the leadership of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and the BJD. This has been proved again and again. It will be proved again in the upcoming elections,” he asserted.
"Last time, the BJD had won 114 of the 147 assembly seats. This time, our target is 130 seats based on the performance and popularity of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik," Dash said.