Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, Aug 22:
While many Odisha Congress leaders are baying for blood of PCC president Jaydev Jena and election campaign committee chief Srikant Jena for the worst ever drubbing of the party in the general and assembly polls held in April this year, the former Union minister has asked the PCC president to hold an introspection meeting, where he can prove his innocence.
In a letter to Jena junior, Srikant Jena said since many leaders of the party were airing their views on the debacle in the public with some of them blaming him, there was a need to hold a review meeting where everyone would give their reasons for the defeat.
“There is need to hold a review meeting to find out the cause of defeat and who are responsible for it. There are allegations that there was large scale bungling in ticket distribution and many undesirable people had availed party tickets for the elections. I was also blamed for not carrying out the election campaign properly. There was also serious allegation that some influential leaders have caused defeat of party candidates with the help of mining mafias. These issues need to be discussed threadbare,” said Srikant in his letter.
He said the Congress party could not face the Modi wave, Naveen Patnaik and money power.
“Many of our friends surrendered overnight before money power, but they are still walking the streets proudly. I could not estimate the power of Dhanapasu before the elections. I will keep a close watch on them in future. On one hand, Modi wave and on the other Naveen and the money tsunami (Dhanapasu) forced us to taste defeat. If someone says we lost the elections due to our incompetence, I am ready to accept it,” said the Congress leader, who made an unsuccessful attempt from Balasore Lok Sabha seat this time.
Blaming Ama Odisha Party (AOP) and TMC for spending huge amounts of money to ensure the defeat of Congress candidates, he said the people behind the two parties and their understanding or deal with Naveen Patnaik need to be identified in order to strengthen the Congress party in future.
“A blueprint has been prepared by the grand alliance of Naveen and Dhanapasu before the elections to uproot the Congress party. The mastermind of the blueprint is yet to be exposed. The issue needs to be discussed in the meeting,” said Jena.
Attacking former leader of opposition Bhupindar Singh, who deserted the party and jumped to the ruling BJD just before the elections, he said Naveen has awarded him with ‘Nimak Haram Jagir’ for giving a strong blow to Congress and creating the impression that Congress was not a force to reckon with anymore.
Lashing out at the BJD government, he said the people had given a mandate to the leaders, who have looted the minerals of the state, swindled the money of common people and grabbed land by furnishing false affidavits.