BHUBANESWAR: Congress veteran and president of Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) Niranjan Patnaik on Friday resigned from his post owning moral responsibility for the party’s dismal show in Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in the State.
“I have sent my resignation letter to president of All India Congress Committee (AICC) Rahul Gandhi owning responsibility for the party’s debacle in Odisha,” Patnaik told mediapersons here. Patnaik, however, said he will continue to be in Congress and work to strengthen the party.
Patnaik lost from both the Assembly seats of Ghasipura and Bhandaripokhari in the polls. He was pitted against School and Mass Education Minister Badri Narayan Patra in Ghasipura and Women and Child Development Minister Prafulla Samal in Bhandaripokhari.
Talking about the outcome of the election, Patnaik said Congress could not withstand the Narendra Modi wave across the country. People reposed their faith on Modi as the Prime Minister and Naveen Patnaik as the Chief Minister of Odisha.
He, however, said there were no principle and ethics in the politics being practised of late. “Politics has been commercialised as the leaders are buying votes in exchange of money offered to people. It is high time the young brigade with high principles comes forward to take the mantle of leadership,” Niranjan said.
The outgoing OPCC president said Congress had given tickets to 84 new faces in the Assembly polls and they will take the party forward in the coming days.
The poor performance of Congress in Odisha has already given rise to a revolt in the party with some senior leaders including former ministers Jagannath Patnaik and Sarat Rout questioning the poll management of the State leadership. Congress conceded the position of main opposition in Odisha to BJP as its tally in the Assembly slumped to nine from 16.
However, Congress managed to open its account in the Lok Sabha as its candidate Saptagiri Ulaka won from Koraput Parliamentary seat by defeating his nearest rival Kaushalya Hikaka of BJD.