The results of the urban polls in the state have proved to be too bitter a pill to swallow for the Congress. Many top leaders of the party have raised questions over the PCC president’s style of functioning and management of electioneering which they feel led to the debacle.
However, PCC President Jayadev Jena is unwilling to concede he was at fault for the party’s poor show. On the other hand, he has threatened action against those who have worked against the party.
Mudslinging within the Congress, a characteristic feature of the party in Odisha, has begun over the party’s poor performance in the elections.
Senior party leader and former working president of the PCC, Lalatendu Bidyadhar Mahapatra has expressed his resentment openly by saying the poll management was not proper. He lamented that no one in the party paid heed to his earlier suggestions with regard to the urgent need for a definite election strategy.” Had the party gone for a planned strategy, the ruling BJD would have bitten the dust”, he said.
Former PCC president Niranjan Patnaik has said the present state of affairs does not augur well for the party. He believes the Congress could have performed much better if things were in order. Patnaik has called for a threadbare review and urged the party to take early steps to prevent a possible disaster in the next general elections.
Senior party leader and former MLA, Taraprasad Bahinipati has blamed the party’s state leaders squarely for the party’s dismal performance in the undivided Koraput district.
Faced with severe criticism from within the party, a cornered and angry Jayadev Jena dismissed the comments by Niranjan Patnaik and Lulu Mohapatra, saying “ they will always say such things “. He was quick to add that stringent action is being contemplated against those who had fielded rebel candidates. He further threatened to go for a complete restructuring of the party organization at the block, town and district levels based on their performance at the urban polls.
Jena has argued that municipal election results in Gujarat and Delhi in the past had no effect on the general elections that followed. “ The urban poll results will not have any effect on the way the party would perform in 2014 general elections”, he asserted. However, Jena parried questions urging him to spell out the reasons behind such dismal performance by the party and said “ Sonia ji and Rahul ji would review the results in Delhi.”
Senior Congress leader and former Union minister Chandrasekhar Sahu and the young MP from Nabrangpur, Pradip Majhi have demanded a proper review to find out what went wrong and devise corrective steps.