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Mrunal Manmay Dash

Slamming the Odisha government Tuesday, the newly selected Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) chief, Sarat Pattanayak, tried to corner the government on Tuesday by alleging that Western Odisha has remained neglected since the end of last Congress government in the State.

Pattanayak was on his way to New Delhi to meet the party High Command when he answered the reporters' queries at the Bhubaneswar airport.

Asked about the newly formed Council of Ministers where Western Odisha had no less than seven ministers (5 Cabinet, 2 MoS), Pattanayak said this is nothing more than vote bank politics which is the forte of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD).

"It has been 22 years since the BJD government is in power in the State. Why not such a big number of Ministers represented the Western Odisha earlier," Pattanayak asked making assertions that the ruling party is fearing the resurrection of Congress.

Other than a few roads here and there, Odisha government has not done any substantial development in that region. The Western Odisha is standing right there where it was at the end of last Congress government 22 years back," he said.

Pattanayak was appointed the President of the OPCC on May 23 following Sonia Gandhi's acceptance of the resignation of Niranjan Patnaik from the post of PCC president.

It is for the second time that Sarat Pattnayak will assume charge of the State Congress. Earlier, he had served as PCC chief from 2001 to 2004.

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