BHUBANESWAR: With an objective to reach out to people and revive the party’s organisation ahead of the 2019 elections, the Congress on Thursday launched its Jan Jagaran Yatra in the State.
The Congress launched its mass contact programme two days after Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik flagged off the ruling BJD’s Jan Sampark Padyatra on October 2.
“Our objective is to hear the grievances of people and reach out to them. People of Odisha have been neglected in the 18-year rule of BJD in the State and four and a half-year regime of the BJP-led NDA Government at the Centre,” president of Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) Niranjan Patnaik said.
Patnaik said Congress workers and leaders will meet people in villages and inform them about how both BJP and BJD have been doing politics at the cost of Odisha’s interest. He said the Congress team will travel by bus to meet people and party workers in all 314 blocks of the State.
On the first day of the yatra, the Congress team visited Barunsingh, Nuagaon, Shergad, Biruan, Naraharipur, Kurada, Khannagar, Saraswatipur, Sutej and Karanjia gram panchayats in Balasore district.
Addressing a public meeting at Remuna, Patnaik said both the BJD and BJP have taken the common people for a ride by their false promises. Alleging that people have been deprived of their basic rights, he said large-scale corruption is going on in every level of the Government.
The State unit of BJP, however, maintained that the Congress campaign will have no impact. “People know how India was lagging behind on every sector before 2014. No yatra will be able to revive the Congress,” said State BJP president Basanta Panda.
The ruling BJD also downplayed the Congress yatra. “Everybody knows what will be the outcome of Congress campaign,” said Government chief whip and senior BJD leader Amar Prasad Satpathy.
Stating that BJD is making necessary preparations for the ensuing elections, Satpathy said party president Naveen Patnaik will take final decision on candidates for 2019 elections.