Odisha Congress begins spadework under new leadership

Bhubaneswar: Even if it’s early days, the revamped Odisha unit of Congress has begun preparations with renewed vigour to strengthen the base of the party from the grassroots.

The party has begun the spadework from Berhampur itself where it received a setback recently after the resignation of many senior leaders, stoking speculations that Congress would be wiped out from Ganjam. Senior leaders including AICC secretary in State, Anil Choudhury and newly-appointed working president Pradeep Majhi were all present to restore party’s lost ground.

Newly- appointed Odisha Pradesh Congress Chief, Niranjan Patnaik yesterday declared that the party will give importance to candidate selection with more focus on new faces, youth and women.

“We are preparing a strategy and hope that by May-end we will be ready,” Niranjan Patnaik had said while answering to queries on what are the party’s chances of winning in the next elections.

Similarly, Pradeep Majhi said “All attempts are being made to strengthen the party and in next 15 days we might appoint District Congress Committee presidents.”

Meanwhile, Congress’ such urgency before the 2019 general elections has evoked different reactions within the political fraternity.

“Considering the political landscape, I think if Congress improves then it would be at the cost of BJD which has been hijacking Congress votes,” BJP MLA, Pradeep Purohit said.

On the other hand, ruling BJD MLA Sameer Das said that since his party is a pro-people government, Congress’ rise will have no effect on it. However, it might hamper BJP’s poll prospects, he added.

Senior BJD leader and former minister Damodar Rout said that “Congress’ resurgence may affect BJD but it will be insignificant. Rather, the BJP which has been trying to take mileage from Congress’ weakness will now start to lose.”