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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Senior Congress leader Kanhu Charan Lenka on Sunday blamed the top leadership of the party's State unit for the poor performance in 2019 polls in Odisha alleging that the vested interests of OPCC chief Niranjan Patnaik and others led to the party’s debacle in the State.

Debacle of Congress here in the 2019 polls was not a natural one, rather a conspiracy was hatched to ruined the party in Odisha else a national party like Congress would not have suffered such a defeat. The State unit has such a leadership that the party surrendered even before the elections, said Lenka.

"After the elections, the OPCC chief said that Congress never spoke about being the Opposition in Odisha Assembly and further stated that the party would try to improve its performance. Does a party chief ever speak like this when the poll results are yet to be declared? Lenka questioned.

"The party leadership lacked discipline and ticket was distributed at own sweet will to whoever he (Niranjan) liked. He even spoke such things that backfired. He also turned Congress into a father-son party in Odisha... A 21-member committee has been formed to review the debacle of the party in 2019 polls, but is there any one in the committee who is unbiased. Those who are members of this committee are responsible for Congress' poll debacle," he added.

Niranjan Patnaik always wanted to be the chief minister of Odisha but after seeing the surge of BJP in the election, he thought that as the BJD might not get majority to form government in Odisha, it would take help of Congress and he could then become the Deputy CM. He also sent his brother (Soumya Ranjan Patnaik) to the BJD to conspire the same, alleged Lenka.

The senior Congress leader also alleged that the brother duo, Niranjan Patnaik and Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, is trying to ruin Congress in Odisha and 'capture' the BJD. "However, I will do my best to save the party by organising and reuniting the party workers at the ground level," he added.

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