Cong urges secular outfits to fight against BJD, BJP

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Congress on Sunday called upon all secular political parties and organisations to fight against the BJP and the ruling BJD in the forthcoming panchayat elections in the state.

Addressing the executive committee members of the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) at a meeting at Congress Bhawan here, PCC president Prasad Harichandan said the time had come for all secular political parties and social organisations to fight against the communal BJP and the corrupt BJD government in the ensuing panchayat elections in the state.

“Keeping the 2017 panchayat elections in view, Congress is preparing a blueprint to strengthen its base at the block and constituency level. Towards this end, the party will intensify its membership drive in 35,896 booths in the state in April and May,” he added.

The members also agreed to stay away from intra-party bickering and work unitedly in the coming days.

“There is coordination among the leaders in our party. It is wrong to assume that some leaders have remained absent due to difference in their opinion. In fact, all members of the PCC executive committee have attended the meeting,” Congress chief whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati said.

Congress leader Chiranjib Biswal said it is nice to see all leaders of the party assembled at the meeting today.

Talking about the intra-party squabble, he said it is quite natural tfor some differences of opinion to exist among the leaders in the Congress since it is a large party. But that does not mean that Congress is a divided house.

“There may be differences of opinion in Congress. But there is no rift in the party for sure,” he claimed.

The meeting also passed a draft political resolution on the arrest of former Sanakhemundi Congress MLA Ramesh Jena.

“All the members were unanimous in their opinion that the arrest of Jena is politically motivated and a deliberate attempt of the ruling party to tarnish his popularity. It was decided that the Congress will lend its unstinting support to Jena. If necessary, the entire PCC working committee members would proceed to Berhampur to fight on his behalf,” said Lalatendu Bidyadhar (Lulu) Mahapatra, member of PCC Coordination Committee.

The draft resolution also included farmers’ issue, law and order, ration card irregularities, steep hike in the price of essential commodities and the proposed hike in power tariff.