Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, Feb 10:
Sounding a note of warning against indiscipline in the party, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi today asked party leaders to work unitedly to unseat the Naveen Patnaik-led BJD government in the state in the ensuing elections.
“It is the Congress party, which is responsible for its own defeat, not other parties. The party will perform well, if it works united. Factionalism and indiscipline have led to repeated defeats in the state. From now on, action will be taken against the leaders, whoever he/she may be, for indulging in such activities,” former Rajya Sabha MP Ramachandra Khuntia quoted the party second-in-command as saying.
Gandhi today held two interactive sessions with block and district level leaders and party office bearers, where he sought feedback on the ground realities ahead of the general elections and selection of candidates for Lok Sabha seats.
The Neheru-Gandhi scion also asked the leaders not to sit in the capital city and reach out to the people in order to propagate the welfare programmes initiated by the UPA government.
“Rahulji asked party workers to reach out to the people and propagate the good work that the UPA government has done. People must be aware of the welfare programmes of the Central government,” said senior Congress leader Suresh Routray.
However, party leaders remained skeptical about revival of the Congress in the state even though the air of despondency has been lifted somewhat following the visit of Gandhi and the triumph of party candidate Ranjib Biswal in the just concluded Rajya Sabha polls.
“The party is known for its factionalism across the state. While the PCC president says something, other leaders are ready to counter it. It has become a common phenomenon in the party and it will never abate despite Gandhi’s warning. If it wants to win in the coming elections, the party has to work united or wait for another five years,” said a senior Congress leader.