Odisha Cong develops cold feet, reschedules padyatra

Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Sep 29:

The Odisha unit of the Congress which had announced to organize padyatras on Gandhi Jayanti to highlight the failures of the Naveen Patnaik-led government in the state and BJP in Centre as well as rejuvenate its organizational strength has suddenly developed cold feet.

Prasad Harichandan
Prasad Harichandan

With the ruling BJD announcing to launch its Jana Samparka yatra and the BJP announcing to launch satyagrah in the state from Gandhi Jayanti, the Congress today rescheduled its padyatra to October 14 apprehensive of a poor show.

The party will start its padyatra programme from Dhenkanal and on the next day it will organize padyatra at Angul and afterwards in ten phases in all Lok Sabha constituencies including Ganjam, Gajapati, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Nabarangpur and Koraput.

The party will continue with its padyatra till April 2016 in an effort to reach out to the people and educate them on the failures of the state and central governments. The party has decided to launch a ‘bijuli satyagraha’ after Durga puja.

“We do not want to enter into competition with any political party neither do we want to convert it to a karmakand (rite). For that reason, we have rescheduled to launch the first phase of the padyatra on October 14,” said Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) President Prasad Harichandan to reporters today.

On the other hand, the ruling BJD has completed its preparations for holding its jana sampark yatra. Chief Minister and party supremo Naveen Patnaik will launch the yatra from Ganganagarpalli here by blowing conch–the party’s symbol.

A total of 121 persons including 32 observers have been vested with the responsibility of conducting padyatra in 32 organizational districts of the party. Among them are ministers, MLAs, MPs and senior leaders of the party.

Everything in detail has been worked out who will start padyatra from where. The party will take the neglect of Centre towards Odisha and the state government’s achievements to the people.

“For the last one decade we have been doing this to apprise the people of our government’s achievements or fulfillment of our electoral promises. So they (other political parties) have worked out a novel strategy to tell the people of our government’s failures. We welcome it,” said Pratap Deb, spokesperson of the BJD in response to the satyagrah and padyatra programmes of the BJP and the Congress.

The BJP too will hold satyagrahs in 147 Assembly constituencies on Gandhi Jayanti to highlight the failures of the state government and apprise the people of the achievements of the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre.

While the saffron party’s state president K V Singhdeo and senior leader Bijaya Mohapatra will lead party workers in staging satyagrahs at Cuttack and Bhubaneswar respectively, other leaders will lead the satyagrah from where they had contested the Assembly polls.

“Every satyagrah will be held in a non-violent manner. There will be no jail bharo or demonstration. Different leaders will speak about the state government’s failures and the achievements or success stories of the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre. Ramdhoon will be played at the venue,” said Prithiviraj Harichandan, vice president BJP state unit to reporters briefing on the party’s programme.

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