Rift in party led to poll debacle, ‘discovers’ Odisha Congress

Reported by Chinmaya Dehury

Bhubaneswar, Aug 27:

The brain storming session of the Odisha Congress today found that internal squabbling within the party was the reason for its severe drubbing in the Assembly and general elections even as most of the district presidents blamed the state leadership for failing to keep the flock together.

Photo: Biswaranjan Mishra
Photo: Biswaranjan Mishra

Three months after the drubbing, presidents of 33 organisational districts today presented their views on the defeat before AICC general secretary in charge of Odisha BK Hariprasad and AICC secretary Subhankar Sarkar.

“We discussed with the district presidents  the reason for the debacle of the Congress in the last election. Most of them maintained that internal bickering within the party was the primary reason for our poor performance in the state,” said Hariprasad.

Several Congress leaders, however, blamed the state leadership for lack of coordination during the party, delay in distributing tickets and that too to non-Congress leaders. They alleged that tickets were sold like hotcakes before the elections, while the campaign committee chief Srikant Jena and PCC president Jaydev Jena did not turn up to canvass for party candidates.

“There was lack of coordination among the party leaders during the elections. Total confusion prevailed during the campaign. The leaders did not act united. All that led to such a debacle,” said Meenakshi Bahinipati, president of Koraput district Congress.

Cuttack district Congress president Pratap Behera said there were several causes for the defeat of the party in the state including delay in distribution of tickets.

Meanwhile, former chief minister and senior Congress leader Hemananda Biswal, who met AICC president Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi today, mocked the introspection meeting saying; “When the Antony committee has already submitted its report after discussing the issue with the state leaders, I don’t think there was any need for holding an introspection meeting once again. I told this to Mrs Gandhi.”

He also informed that there would be a change of guard soon in the PCC top post. He said he had advised the party president to appoint an experienced leader to revamp the organisation.

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