Congress forms two-member panel to probe poll debacle in Odisha

The committee will also inquire into allegations against the state leadership for fielding weak candidates to suit the BJD which was the ruling party then.
Congress flag used for representation
Congress flag used for representation

BHUBANESWAR: The Congress has constituted a two-member committee to inquire into the reasons behind the party’s poll debacle in Odisha.

The two members, treasurer of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) Ajay Maken and AICC general secretary Tariq Anwar, will soon visit the state in this regard.

Sources said the committee members will interact with senior leaders, defeated candidates and local leaders to find out why the party failed to capitalise on the anti-incumbency factor against the 24-year-old Naveen Patnaik government in the state. Congress failed to hold its ground in the state except Rayagada and the undivided Koraput districts. Though the seats won by the party increased from nine in 2019 polls to 14 this time, its percentage of votes decreased from 16 per cent to 13 per cent.

The committee will also inquire into allegations against the state leadership for fielding weak candidates to suit the BJD which was the ruling party then. There were allegations that the state leadership did not disburse the minimum fund allocated by the AICC, leaving the candidates to fend for themselves in most of the constituencies.

Meanwhile, the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) met on Wednesday and shortlisted three MLAs - Tapaprasad Bahinipati, Ramchandra Kadam and Ramesh Jena - for the post of legislature party leader.

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