Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 11:
Former Odisha chief minister JB Patnaik was given a tumultuous welcome by thousands of Congressmen as he arrived here this afternoon at the end of his five-year term as Assam Governor.
The excitement among Congressmen, many of whom had reached the airport several hours before JB’s plane was scheduled to land, was palpable. All the usual suspects were there with the ever ebullient old faithful Suresh Routray leading the charge as it were.
Hordes of fawning supporters waited, garlands in hand, for the moment when their leader would emerge through the gate.
When he finally did, with his newly acquired, maroon colured Himachali cap on head, the supporters rushed to greet him. Some touched his feet while others offered bouquets. JB obliged ths supporters by getting out of the vehicle in the company of wife Jayanti and accepting their greetings.
The buzz was even greater when he reached his Forest Park residence. After the customary guard of honour, due to him as a former Governor, it was another seemingly interminable round of exchange of greetings, bouquet giving and garlanding with JB smiling all through it.
JB lived up to all the expectation and excitement seen over the last few days leading up to his return today by making it clear that he has no intention of hanging up his political boots anytime soon.
“I am in politics and would continue to remain in politics,” Patnaik told the newsmen in his first public utterance after landing at the Biju Patnaik Airport here with wife Jayanti Patnaik this afternoon.
To a question on whether he would return to active politics, the veteran Congress leader and three-time Chief Minister said; “I have just come back home after five years. I have not yet decided on my future course of action”.
Patnaik, who was sworn in as governor of Assam on December 11, 2009, completed his tenure yesterday.
As if on cue, seven Ccongress MLAs and several former party MLAs and other leaders left for New Delhi presumbaly to impress upon the high command the need for a change of guard in the PCC.