Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jan 7:
The Congress in Odisha, which was grappling with wranglings among its senior leaders till the newly appointed Pradesh Congress Committee chief Prasad Harichandan formally assumed office on December 28, began its two-day long ‘Naba Chintan Shivir’ here today to first remain united and work together and then devise strategies to take on the BJD and the BJP.
This is the first organizational level meeting of the Congress in the state after Harichandan assumed office. Today’s session of the ‘Chintan Shivir’ will be split in four sub-sessions. In the first sub-session, Harichandan is holding discussions with the senior leaders of the party on the future programmes to be taken up by the party in the state at the grassroots level.
The second session will involve talks with the 16 MLAs of the party, the third with the AICC member, office bearers and leaders of front organizations and the last session with former MLAs and MPs of the party.
The AICC in-charge of the party in Odisha BK Hariprasad and his deputy Subhankar Sarkar are attending the ‘Chintan Shivir’.
Party’s Rajya Sabha member from Odisha Ranjib Biswa,l who had come out after a part of the sub-session was over, said the only objective of this Chintan Shivir is to strengthen the Congress in the state and make it the number one party in the state again.
“All senior leaders are individually placing their opinions on how to strengthen the party in the state. They are engaged in debates and suggestions which are being accepted. We are preparing a plan to make Congress, the number one party in the state. The party will prepare a strategy to take on the BJD and BJP in the state at the grassroots level,” said Biswal speaking to newsmen.
On being asked whether getting back Congressmen, who had left the party was discussed, Biswal said; “When such meetings are held, all such things are discussed. And it figured in today’s meeting too. The AICC has a format for it, AICC state in-charge and deputy in-charge are here. They, along with the PCC president, will work on the modalities on how to get back Congressmen who had left us”.
Prior to the start of the shivir, former Chief Minister Hemanand Biswal, who gave an insight into the things that would be taken up at the meeting, said; “How to strengthen Congress at the grassroots level will come up in the meeting. …. the high level of corruption by the present government in the state also will come up for discussion.”
Former minister and former PCC president Niranjan Patnaik said; “I am very much hopeful about the shivir. The Congress will progress and grow. Congress is not a bad party. Neither are its ideals and principles bad. We some leaders have made it a bad party. In every party, there are good people and bad people. So our party is no exception. We will all work unitedly for the party”.