Odisha Congress to review poll debacle on May 30

Bhubaneswar: Amidst the ongoing war of words between senior leaders of the Odisha Congress, the party’s top leadership will meet on May 30 to review the 2019 poll debacle.

All eyes would be on the upcoming meeting as AICC general secretary and in-charge of Odisha Jitendra Singh and senior Congress leader of Chhattisgarh TS Singhdeo will be holding talks with the state leaders on possible reasons that led to party’s dismal performance here.

The leader of the Congress legislature party will be elected on the same day, sources said.

A detailed discussion would be held with all the winning and losing candidates and other leaders so that a blue print can be prepared to revive the grand old party in Odisha, sources added.

It is pertinent to mention that the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president Niranjan Patnaik has been in the firing-line after a few leaders of the party trained guns at him for the poor show. Patnaik in a letter to AICC has already offered to quit the PCC post.

Several senior leaders have blamed Patnaik for the poll debacle in Odisha. Similarly, AICC president Rahul Gandhi at CWC meeting too snubbed senior leaders for putting their sons above party’s interest.

While talking to reporters, Patnaik today clarified that his son Nabajyoti Patnaik was made a candidate from Balasore Lok Sabha constituency following an approval by the AICC as well on the recommendations of district Congress.

“I have never visited Balasore or campaigned for my son who was made a candidate on the recommendations of district unit and AICC,” said the OPCC chief.

Senior leader and newly elected MLA from Jatni Suresh Routray, on the other hand, came in defence of Niranjan Patnaik and stated that all the leaders of the State are responsible for Congress’ poor show.

“Niranjan alone is not responsible for the poll debacle rather it’s a collective failure. He should continue as OPCC chief and I urge all leaders to leave Bhubaneswar and Delhi and visit constituencies from now so as to build up base and connect with people on the ground,” said Routray.

“We could not compete with the BJD on several fronts as such we didn’t do well. We need to change our strategy and we will certainly overcome it,” said senior party leader Pradeep Majhi.