Congress Yet to Get its Act Together
The State leadership of the Congress, which has come in for criticism from the party leaders for the debacle in urbanbody polls (ULBs), is yet to announce a committee to manage elections for Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporations (BMC), while the BJD has already launched its campaign.
Besides, lack of interest among the senior leaders and wrong selection of candidates have made the situation murky at a time when the BJD is likely to announce on Monday the names of the ministers and MLAs to be in charge of individual seats.
Sources said intense infighting has surfaced in the State Congress after the party’s humiliating defeat in the two-phase urban local body (ULB) polls in October and November. The refusal of All-India Congress Committee (AICC) vice-president Rahul Gandhi to meet a delegation, led by Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Jayadev Jena at New Delhi on Saturday, has strengthened the ‘oust Jena’ campaign in the party.
The OPCC president, however, said the Odisha delegation, which included several MPs and senior leaders, wanted to congratulate Rahul for passing of the Lokpal Bill in Parliament. However, the programme was cancelled at the last minute. Jena’s detractors said the OPCC president wanted to utilise the occasion as a show of strength to counter the growing demand for his ouster from the post.
Jena and his supporters are, however, busy mobilising support to launch a high profile campaign in the BMC polls to salvage some reputation. The OPCC president said all senior leaders have been asked to campaign in the BMC polls. “I have written to all senior leaders, including MPs, MLAs, former chief ministers and ministers and former OPCC presidents to actively campaign for the party,” Jena said.