Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, June 22:
The four-member AK Antony Committee, which discussed with the senior Odisha Congress leaders in New Delhi today about the party’s disastrous performance in the last elections, asked the leaders what they felt were the real reasons behind the crushing defeat and sought their suggestions on how to revive the party organisation in the state.
The 4-member committee which includes Mukul Wasnik, Avinash Pande and Ramachandra Khuntia met each of the senior Odisha leaders separately and the common questions were: “what went wrong”, “why they lost” and “what should be done to put things right”.
Each interviewee was given a full hearing.
The PCC president Jayadev Jena, who has been accused by his own party colleagues for being inefficient, insouciant and one with a poor image, tried to put the entire blame on the ruling Biju Janata Dal
“I was asked why the party faced such a drubbing in both Lok Sabha and Assembly polls. I told them we failed to match up to the huge money power of the ruling BJD, which also used the entire administration to ensure victory of their candidates,” said PCC president Jaydev Jena.
He also said that the meeting also discussed issues like how to rejuvenate the demoralized Congress workers at the grassroots level in the state.
However, several senior leaders, who were interviewed separately, put the onus on PCC president and campaign committee chief Srikant Jena for the worst ever performance of the party in the state. While they sought ouster of the Jena duo from the helm of party affairs, they also suggested specific ideas and measures to revive the party in the state.
12 senior Odisha Congress leaders of the party met the Antony committee today.
Incidentally, the party screening committee chairman Oscar Fernandes and Odisha in-charge of the state Congress BK Hariprasad were also interviewed by the Antony committee.