Congress leaders campaigned for BJP, BJD during 2019 polls: George Tirkey

Sundergarh: Post general elections, infighting and blame game within Odisha Congress continue to mount with another party leader and Sundergarh MP candidate George Tirkey accusing OPCC leaders of campaigning for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and also the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) during 2019 polls.

Addressing a presser, the senior Congress leader said that intra-party conspiracy against him and EVM hacking by BJP are the reasons behind his loss in the Sundergarh parliamentary constituency.

“Narendra Modi had visited Sundergarh and campaigned for BJP in 2014 following which Jual Oram (the saffron party’s LS candidate from the parliamentary seat) had got 3.30 lakh votes, but this time, even though Modi didn’t campaign, how come Oram got 5.56 lakh votes,” questioned Tirkey.

No comments, either from Jual Oram or the BJP, had been received at the time of posting the story.

Tirkey further alleged that a conspiracy was hatched by some leaders of the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) and the District Congress Committee to defeat him. “We have informed the OPCC during a meeting about the matter. We have also demanded stern action and expulsion of those involved in such anti-party activities,” he said.

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

Besides, Congress candidate from Sukinda Assembly seat and former minister, Sarat Rout had also blamed Patnaik and accused him of failing to manage the party’s election strategy and betraying the trust of AICC chief Rahul Gandhi. “There were lapses at all levels – from ticket distribution to poll management,” Rout had alleged.