OST Political Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Oct 8:
Worried over the growing resentment in the party over the expulsion of senior leader Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, the Odisha Congress, led by Jaydev Jena, is all set to show its strength with a youth convention on October 23 in Bhubaneswar.
For the record though, the party claimed that the convention will be held against the misrule of Naveen Patnaik government in the state in the last 14 years. But insiders say it is an event designed to demonstrate that the overwhelming majority in the party was with the PCC leadership.
“The Youth Congress will hold a rally and mass convention against the Naveen Patnaik government on October 23. The ruling BJD, which had promised employment to one lakh youth in its election manifesto to provide, has cheated the youth of the state,” said Youth Congress president Sangram Jena at a press conference here. He, however, did not reveal if any Central leader would attend the rally.
Jena demanded that the government should publish a white paper on the employment provided to the youth during last 14 years.
Referring to the Raghuram Rajan committee report, which placed Odisha as least developed state in the country, the Youth Congress leader hit out at the state government for its false claim about having reduced poverty. He also drew attention to the growing atrocities against women in the state with about four rapes taking place every day.
Debunking the repeated government claim of Central neglect, Jena said the UPA government had allocated Rs 1.50 lakh crore to Odisha during its tenure, which the latter had failed to utilize.
Even though the party is claiming that the convention would be held against Naveen Patnaik government ahead of general and assembly elections, political observers feel that the move by Jena, the son of the PCC president, is aimed at showing his father’s support base within the party and counter the ongoing ‘Sampark Yatra’ of expelled Congress leader Patnaik.
The former Bhubaneswar MP has announced that he would hold Sampark Yatras in each panchayat of the state after Durga Puja.