**Bhubaneswar: ** After the epic failure in the recently-concluded Panchayat elections, the Odisha unit of Indian National Congress (INC), the grand old party of Indian politics, has been literally cornered by the rival BJD and BJP in the State politics.
The party headquarters in Bhubaneswar wears a deserted look as almost none of the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) office bearers seems interested in continuing the party activities.
In spite of this bitter truth, nobody can deny the cult popularity that the party enjoys among a certain voter base. Experts believe that revival of the party might be hard, but isn’t impossible at all. But the moot question is how is the party planning to fight back?
OMMCOM NEWS tried to find out what the party plans to regain its position in the Odisha.
Former PCC president Niranjan Patnaik opined, “All is not well in our Odisha unit Congress. Had it been, the results would not have been so dismal. We need to delve into in a bid to know our lapses, omission and commission. Pointing out the weak points, what necessary amendments ought to be made to revive the party is the need of the hour. Hence, all Congress leaders here need to introspect. All need to be united and unanimous in the course of action. I’m confident that by doing so, Congress in the State will definitely grow again. Now in every party there is a bankruptcy of able leadership and we are also one among them.”
Congress chief whip in Odisha Assembly Tara Prasad Bahinipati said, “Congress in Odisha has completely gone into deep slumber. The party workers in the rural belt have become absolutely passive. Congress here is leaderless. The party needs total revamp from top to bottom. All leaders at the district and rural levels need to be active and united. We all should focus our activities from the grassroots level. No doubt, the party will be re-grow and will be in power. It is therefore earnestly requested that our high command, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, should soon step in otherwise most of our leaders and workers are planning to defect to other parties.”
Senior Congress leader Sarat Rout said, “We are all alert about the tussle between BJD and BJP. We’ll definitely strive out to set right our party organization. All Congressmen will unite to revive the past glory of the party and face the two parties here in the State. A review will be held of the party soon. If there is need for change in guard here, it will be discussed.”
Senior journalist Rabi Das commented, “At present, Congress is headless both at the national and state levels. Changing of guard in Odisha will not suffice. In the last 17 years, PCC chief has been changed four times. But, Congress could not revive. Congress has to ruminate properly what should be the tangible plan of action and who could be able enough to rejuvenate the party in Odisha. The AICC-deputed Odisha-in-charge simply comes to Congress Bhawan and stay in hotel here just for pleasure trip. The Congress people are yet to realize and point out the real weak point of the party here in the State. The way Congress is eroding in Odisha. Glaring instance is the recent Panchayat polls.”