OST Political Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jan 14:
Senior Congress leader and Union minister Srikant Jena, who had chosen to seal his lips for a while following the miserable show by his party in the just-concluded Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections, has now come up with a statement conceding that the ‘Ama Odisha factor’ led to the party’s poll debacle.
“The effect of the newly-formed Ama Odisha was the key factor for the drubbing of the Congress in the BMC polls as it had a tacit understanding with the ruling BJD to ensure our defeat”, Jena said in a release (in Odia ) on Tuesday.
The senior Congress leader, who along with the PCC chief, spearheaded the party’s campaign for the BMC polls also said his party was blissfully unaware of an alliance among the BJD, Ama Odisha and mines mafia – that spent Rs 20 lakh for each ward as against Rs 20,000 spent by his party- till the results were out !
He also admitted that since a number of senior Congress leaders are backing Ama Odisha, the party’s organizational strength and credibility has taken a beating.
The ruling BJD, taking advantage of the situation, joined hands with Ama Odisha to defeat Congress, Jena alleged.
The harried Congress leader, in a bid to explain away his party’s humiliating defeat also alleged that the voters had come under the influence of money power and sold their votes !
“The Congress lost the elections as it did not have enough money”, he pointed out.
However, Jena , tried to put up a brave face, saying his party would take the issue of the ‘unholy nexus ‘ between Ama Odisha and the BJD to the grassroots level and convince the people about the role of this alliance in making Odisha the poorest state in the country.
“Once the people come to know of this, they would cast their votes in favour of the Congress,” Jena imagined in his statement.