Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 29:
Given the spate of desertions it has suffered in the recent past, one would imagine that the Congress party has a lot to be worried about in this election. Conventional wisdom suggests that the party is groping for a way to stop the Naveen Patnaik juggernaut.
But PCC president Jayadev Jena would have us believe that it is the ruling BJD which has been spending sleepless nights on how to stop him and his party ever since he took over as the head of the party’s state unit.
“I am the Enemy No 1 for the BJD and its president Naveen Patnaik. They are pulling out all stops to ensure that I don’t win because they realise that they are facing a real challenge in this election,” Jena told OTV grandiosely this morning.
The PCC chief said he had decided not to contest the election and to concentrate on campaigning for the party instead. “But the Congress vice president, in his wisdom, decided that I should contest,’ he said.
Asked if the BJD’s decision not to re-nominate Bhagirathi Sethi would help him win the election in the Anandpur Assembly seat, Jena said he was not bothered who his opponent was. “I am ready to fight anybody,” he boasted.
Jena made a big song and dance about the fact that even as candidates in other seats have kept changing, he has been nominated by the party high command from Anandpur for the eighth straight time – conveniently ignoring the fact that he had lost the last election to Bhagirthi Sethi by a margin of over 23, 000 votes from his ‘home turf’.