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Will contest only Lok Sabha polls: Niranjan

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OST Political Bureau

Bhubaneswar, Dec 8:

Senior Congress leaders Niranjan Patnaik today made it clear that he would contest the 2014 elections only if he is given a ticket for the Lok Sabha elections.Niranjan Patnaik

“I have already made it clear that I would not contest Assembly elections under Jayadev Jena’s leadership. However, I have no problems contesting for an MP seat since it does not come under the leadership of Jena,” he said at a press conference here.

Admitting that the state unit of the party was beset with many problems, Patnaik said they have to be addressed urgently if the BJD government in the state has to be dethroned in the 2014 Assembly elections.

The Congress leader said the people of Odisha will change the incumbent government when they come out of the schemes like Rs 1 a kg rice and free blankets and look at the overall development of the state.

The former PCC chief’s enigmatic answer on the possibility of his joining ‘Ama Odisha’, the political party launched by his younger brother and expelled Congress leader Soumya Ranajan Patnaik, at the press conference has set political circles in the state aflutter.

“I cannot predict the future,” said Patnaik when asked if he would join Ama Odisha, adding ” I will serve the people of the state as long as I live”.

Talking about Ama Odisha and its founder, the senior Patnaik said; “Soumya was born talented. But he has been under the shadow of JB Patnaik and Niranjan Patnaik for long. Now, he has decided to come out of their shadow and build an identity of his own by floating a new party.”

Patnaik, who had earlier said that he would have resigned from the PCC top post in the aftermath of the party’s debacle in the recently concluded urban polls in the state, said on a satirical note; “Since Jayadev Jena has not resigned, he would obviously continue as PCC president.”