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Wrong to write off Congress in Odisha: JB Patnaik

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 12:

Veteran Congress leader and three-time Odisha Chief Minister JB Patnaik has said the Congress cannot be written off as yet and it is still possible to revive the party if the ‘right people’ are given the responsibility and enough time.

Former Chief Minister JB Patnaik at the Bhubaneswar airport after his return from Guwahati on Thursday afternoon (ic: Biswaranjan Mishra)
Former Chief Minister JB Patnaik at the Bhubaneswar airport after his return from Guwahati on Thursday afternoon
(ic: Biswaranjan Mishra)

“When a party is not in power, people are quick to write its obituary. But parties do revive and come back to power. But forr that to happen, the right people have to be chosen and given enough time,” Patnaik said after his return to Odisha on Thursday after completing his five-year stint as Assam Governor.

“That is how the Congress defeated the Biju Patnaik government had returned to power in 1995,” he said reminding that he was given charge of the party in 1992.

Talking about his future course of action, Patnaik said he would go to the people on three major issues—flood, drought and unemployment—in the state.

“I will meet people and make them aware of these issues. It does not matter if I am not heard. But I will support those who support my programme. If the need arises, I may take these issues as part a statewide agitation to safeguard the interest of Odisha,” the veteran leader said.

Although Patnaik did not give any clear indication on whether he would take up the party leadership in the state, he said he hds his own set of principles and ideals, which he has been strictly following in his 40-year long political career.

“To reorganize the party is the responsibility of the high command. I have no role on this. If the high command desires, I will act accordingly. I have no issues with who heads the party in the state. If the high command does not approve of this, I will wait. But I will never compromise with my principles and ideals,” he added.