Tuesday, July 16, 2024

OPCC Chief Sarat Pattanayak Faces Demand for Resignation – N.F Times


Bhubaneswar: Sarat Pattanayak, who assumed the role of OPCC president nearly two years before the general elections, now, faces a crisis. Following his defeat in the recent assembly elections and the inability of the state Congress to capitalize on the anti-government sentiment under his leadership, there is a strong call within the Congress for his immediate resignation.

Amidst this turmoil, senior leaders Jayadev Jena and Panchanan Kanungo have insisted that the OPCC President step down immediately on ethical grounds. Last week, the Congress Bhawan got locked after an ink attack on Sarat and a protest initiated by a Congress leader.

Meanwhile responding to the media, senior Congress leader and ex-minister Kanungo remarked that the OPCC president had projected an increase in Congress seats from 9 to 90 in the state assembly elections. Despite these expectations, under Sarat’s leadership, the Congress’s performance was poor in the state.

Even though a wave of change was palpable, only the BJP was able to benefit from the state’s anti-government sentiment. The reasons behind the Congress’s poor performance in the recent state elections are widely known to everybody. The OPCC president himself faced a significant defeat. As a result, he is urged to resign from his position, taking moral responsibility for both his and the party’s loss.

At the same time, Jena said, “I do not know whether he has resigned from the post of OPCC president or not.” He added that he had written to the OPCC president to propose a review of the Congress’s electoral debacle. He said that it is important to analyse why Congress failed to achieve the anticipated success in the state when there was an air of change around. However, his letter went unanswered, said Kanungo.

Similarly, former OPCC president and veteran Congress leader Jayadev Jena said that Sarat Pattanayak should ethically resign from his position as OPCC president due to the party’s electoral performance. In the past, Jena was given charge of the 2014 general elections by the central leadership. However, accepting responsibility for the party’s defeat, he resigned from his position as OPCC president on the day the results were declared, said Jena.

Notably, Manas Choudhury, the former Congress president for Bhubaneswar and Cuttack district, has accused Sarat Pattanayak of mishandling electoral funds for party candidates in the current election, intentionally fielding weak candidates in certain areas, and colluding with opposition parties. As a result, Choudhury faced Sarat’s wrath and was expelled from the party. Nevertheless, Choudhury maintains that the Congress remains his party and Sarat cannot remove him. Currently, there is talk that he is rallying support against Sarat.


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