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Jena duo under fire at Cong brainstorming session

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OST Political Bureau

Bhubaneswar, Dec 6:

congress meet

The simmering discontent against Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president Jayadev Jena and his alleged mentor and Union minister Srikant Jena came out in the open at the party’s day-long brainstorming session at Congress Bhavan here on Friday.

The ineffectual leadership of state and district level leaders was cited as the major reason for the disastrous performance of the party in the just concluded urban local bodies (ULBs) elections in the state, party sources told OST. A majority of party MPs and even the lone Union minister from the state came under fire for their inability to energise the party cadre, they said.

Even though AICC general secretary BK Hariprasad has taken the onus for the defeat on himself for the poll debacle, several leaders chose to train their guns at the PCC president for his inability to mobilize the cadres and keep the flock together during the elections.

The humiliating defeat of state Congress in the ULBs polls figured prominently during the brainstorming session attended by district presidents, vice presidents, secretaries and PCC members, besides Hariprasad and his deputy Sumanta Sarkar.

“The brainstorming session will continue till evening today. Everybody in the Congress, including the party high-command, is worried over the dismal performance of the party in the urban polls. The session will identify the reasons for the disastrous defeat and come up with a strategy to take on Naveen Patnaik in the coming Assembly and general elections,” Nabarangpur MP Pradip Majhi told media persons here.

A majority of those who spoke at the meeting were in favour of early announcement of the list of candidates for the 2014 elections so that they get sufficient time to reach out to people and last minute confusion is avoided, Majhi said.

PCC president Jayadev Jena, who is in the eye of a storm, maintained that the party will select the leaders keeping their winnability in mind after getting the response from block and district level leaders.

“We are preparing a strategy for the 2014 elections. The leaders will have to organize programmes at block and district level to revitalise the party workers,” Jena said.