BHUBANESWAR: The rumblings in the Congress following the dismal performance of the party in the recent panchayat and urban local body (ULB) polls are growing more intense, with another senior leader Suresh Kumar Routray on Saturday accusing the Central leaders of ditching the State unit completely.
Dropping a bombshell, Routray accused the leaders of amassing huge wealth during the party’s rule at the Centre but abandoning the State Congress in the time of its need. “The leaders, who have amassed vast wealth by looting national treasury when the party was in power, did not come forward to finance the candidates,” he said.
“Not a single senior leader of the Congress (from the Centre) turned up to campaign in support of our candidates,” he said and added that some leaders had to manage several constituencies at a time.
The former minister said that he will continue to speak the truth and raise his voice against the indifference of the Central leadership to Odisha despite the possibility of disciplinary action against him. The statement of Routray came a day after Congress legislator Tara Prasad Bahinipati targeted the president of the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) Niranjan Patnaik for the party’s debacle in the recent polls.
Bahinipati had alleged that Patnaik falls ill whenever there is an election and does not provide any funds to the party candidates.
Routray, however, came to Patnaik’s defence stating that it is not fair to blame only him for the debacle. “At least, the State president went to some places to campaign for the party candidates and encouraged them. He also provided funds to some candidates from his own purse,” he told mediapersons.
A churning is going on in the State Congress after the panchayat and ULB elections. Congress managed to win only seven out of 108 ULBs, down from 13 in the 2013-14 polls. Of the total 1,716 councillor posts across the State, the party could win only 134.
In the panchayat polls a month earlier, the party had put up a similar performance by winning mere 37 of the 853 zilla parishad seats. In the 2017 elections, the party had won 60 seats.Zilla Parishad seats. In the 2017 elections, the party had won 60 seats.