Bhubaneswar(PTI): Newly appointed Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Niranjan Patnaik today said the party is set to fight a winning battle in 2019.
The Congress earlier in the day revamped its Odisha unit naming Patnaik as the new chief, barely months ahead of simultaneous Assembly polls in Odisha and Lok Sabha election.
“We are going to fight a winning battle, not a losing battle, in Odisha,” Patnaik said.
The tenure of the 147-member Odisha Assembly ends on June 11, 2019 and elections are due before that.
Patnaik said, “I admit that the Congress is weak in Odisha now. But, it can be acceptable to the people as the ruling BJD has utterly failed to meet their aspiration.”
The people have voted the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) four times in a row, but Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik failed to solve the problems of Odisha, he claimed.
Stating that both the BJD and the BJP were rivals of the Congress in Odisha, Niranjan Patnaik said, “While BJP has failed to meet the expectation of the people across the country, the BJD government betrayed the trust of Odias.”
On the recent exodus of party leaders, he said some people have quit the Congress on personal grounds.
Those who have faith in the Congress and Mahatma Gandhi’s ideology are most welcome, he said.
“We will work with dedication to strengthen the party at the grassroots level. We will continue to fight against issues such as unemployment, farmers problem and water dispute,” Niranjan Patnaik said.
Congress chief whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati said all leaders and workers will bury their differences and work unitedly under the leadership of the new OPCC president.
Niranjan Patnaik replaced Prasad Harichandan, who had tendered his resignation after the party’s debacle in Bijepur bypoll in February.
The BJD wrested the Bijepur Assembly constituency from the Congress in the election. While the BJP came second, the Congress nominee came third and lost his deposit.