Panchayat polls: Congress to kick off campaign today

Bhubaneswar: Targetting chief minister Naveen Patnaik for his administrative ‘failure’ during the last 17 years of his rule in Odisha, State Congress will launch its campaign for ensuing three-phase pachayat polls today.

Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) chief Prasad Harichandan will lead the campaign which will be launched from Balipatna, on the outskirts of the city here. He will also release the party’s poll manifesto during the occasion.

Party insiders said, poor education system and degrading healthcare services in the State will feature in the manifesto to corner the ruling BJD in the upcoming polls.

A fortnight ago the party had released a draft copy of the manifesto during Pradesh Election Committee (PEC) meeting. As many as 29 out of the 30 members of the PEC including former OPCC presidents Niranjan Patnaik, Jaydev Jena and Sarat Patnaik, Opposition chief whip in the assembly Tara Prasad Bahinipati, OPCC general secretary Sulochana Das, OPCC treasurer Mohammed Moquim, former MLA Santosh Singh Saluja and presidents of the frontal organisations attended the meeting.

However, general secretary of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) in-charge Odisha BK Hariprasad did not attend the meeting as there were chances of protest from the youth and student Congress activists.