Nayagarh, Sep 7
Senior Congress leader and former MP Soumya Ranjan Patnaik on Friday said the rise in the number of ticket aspirants in the Congress had demoralised the grassroots workers resulting in the poor performance of the party.
Addressing party workers at Nua Rajabati hall here, Patnaik, who arrived here as part of his ‘Sankalp Abhijan’ to unite and galvanise the party workers for the victory of the Congress in the next general elections, said, “To strengthen the party, efforts must be made to boost the morale of the workers at the grassroots level instead of indulging in the rat race for tickets”.
Reminding partymen that it is the people and not individual leaders who are the mainstay of the party, he said “A grassroots worker, who has never aspired for a ticket, matters most for a party’s success.”
Referring to his party’s position in Nayagarh district, Soumya Ranjan said out of a total of 6.75 lakh voters in 814 booths across four Assembly constituencies, the share of the Congress was limited to below one lakh in 2009.
He said that the time has come for all party workers and leaders to analyse the reasons behind such a poor show and work out a strategy to improve the party’s performance in the forthcoming elections.
“The Congress has to forge ahead with the target of getting at least 250 votes from each booth and to achieve this the united and committed efforts of the booth level workers are vital. This is no mean task,” he said.
“Party workers have to make a concerted effort to ensure the victory of whoever the party grants a ticket ”, Patnaik said.
Patnaik said he felt sad about the absence of the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Jayadev Jena, who did not turn up despite his invitation. “Had he been here today, doubts if any in his mind about the real purpose of the Samavesh which, of late, is being projected by some as a parallel organisation within the party, would have been dispelled”, he said.
“The Sankalp Abhiyan is not a show of strength. The aim is to make the Congress victorious in the general elections scheduled next year through a concerted effort right from the grassroots level in an organised manner,” Patnaik added.
Earlier in the day, Patnaik was accorded a very warm welcome by local party workers after his arrival at the Durgaprasad Padia. From there, he was taken around the town in an impressive bike rally by over 7000 party workers who came from various parts of the district including Khandapada, Bhapur, Nayagarh, Gania, Nuagan, Daspalla, Odagan, Ranpur, Sarankul, Balugan, Mahipur, Kantilo and Banigochha braving the intensely hot and humid weather.
The police had a tough time controlling vehicular traffic that came to a near standstill for about three hours from 9.30 am because of the massive bike rally staged by enthusiastic party workers.