OST Political Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 8:
After the bravado, it was time for some plainspeak.
Brought down to the earth by the resounding defeat of the party in the Assembly elections in four states, the Congress on Sunday admitted that things were in pretty bad shape in the state unit.
“There is no doubt that there is serious dissatisfaction among leaders in the party after the dismal show in the recent urban elections. If this trend continues, we will find it hard to get candidates after the 2014 elections,” said Pradeep Majhi, the MP from Nabarangpur.
“There would be no leader left in the Congress if things do not improve quickly,” he added for good measure.
Aware of the implications of any criticism of the PCC president, especially in the backdrop of the expulsion of senior leader Soumya Ranjan Patnaik recently, the young leader, however, stopped short of blaming the state leadership for the poll debacle.
Despite the reluctance to criticise the PCC leadership, however, there was no mistaking the despondency in the young MP’s voice.
He readily admitted that the Congress had failed to take advantage of the anti-incumbency against the BJD government.
In what can only be termed hoping against hope, the Congress leader made a strong case for early announcement of party candidates for the 2014 elections.
“This will give party candidates enough time to reach out to the people and avoid the air of confusion and uncertainty,” he said.
The Congress, it may be noted, has been notorious for keeping aspirants guessing till the very last minute in elections in the recent past.