ROURKELA: Ahead of the upcoming three-tier Panchayat elections, Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Prasad Harichandan on Thursday exhorted the party leaders in the tribal-dominated Sundargarh district to shed differences and fight the polls unitedly.
Harichandan met Rourkela District Congress Committee (RDCC) members at Rourkela before attending a conference of the Panchayat Task Force Committee of Congress at Bonai. Aware of the prevailing factionalism in the district, Harichandan urged the party workers to sort out their differences and fight unitedly against the failures of BJD Government in Odisha and BJP Government at the Centre.
Harichandan asked the Sundargarh District Congress Committee (SDCC) to form poll booth committees in all six Assembly segments within eight days, begin selection of candidates for Sundargarh Zilla Parishad and start reaching out to voters from January 1.
Harichandan said his party will take on the BJD on the issue of removal of black stoles and scarves from women by the police at Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s public meeting at Mangaspur in Sundargarh Assembly constituency. He said as disrespect was shown to the women in the presence of the Chief Minister, the latter has no moral right to continue in office. Meanwhile, the SDCC and the RDCC have decided to enforce Sundargarh bandh on December 14 over the issue.
Accusing the BJD Government of failing on all fronts, Harichandan said, “The prolonged closure of mines and industries is leading to unemployment and migration in the State.” “The State Government is busy serving the interests of industries and its claim of working for the poor, farmers, women and tribal masses is nothing but hogwash,” he added. Harichandan further said Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi successfully fought for the land rights of farmers and tribals. The demonetisation move of Modi-led BJP Government is heaping miseries on poor and farmers, he claimed.
Former chief minister Hemanand Biswal, SDCC and RDCC presidents Dushmanta Naik and Biren Senapati, former MLAs Pravat Mohapatra, Gregory Minz, Janardan Dehuri and Remis Kerketta accompanied him.