"Odisha Congress is correcting its mistakes"

Party's state chief Jayadev Jena questions Naveen’s development claims

ajay

Ajay Singh | April 4, 2014




Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee president Jayadev Jena is a harried man these days. He is assigned the task of revitalsing his party which is not keen to revive and recover. On Friday he came out with a manifesto full of usual rhetoric and platitudes in a function held at the PCC headquarters. In a brief conversation, he, like a hardboiled politician that he is, displayed his never-say-die spirit:

Q: You seem to have given up much before the fight. Your party is hardly in the fray.
A: This is incorrect. We are in the fray all over the state. You may find the influence of Naveen Patnaik but in rural areas the Congress is quite strong. We are mobilising support and let me say that 15-year anti-incumbency would be Naveen's undoing.

Q: But don’t you think your party makes a poor impression when your leader of opposition Bhupinder Singh deserts it and joins the BJD?
A: Bhupinder Singh was always hand in glove with Naveen Patnaik. For the past several years, he had been acting like a BJD man in the Congress. It is good that the party is purged of such people. Moreover, he does not have much influence.

Q: Then why did you retain such a man as the leader of opposition in Odisha?
A:
That is a mistake we made. But now we are quick to realise it and make course correction.

Q: Naveen Patnaik appears to be very popular. How will you counter him?
A:
This is a wrong impression. He is the most hated person because of his arrogant style of functioning and his government's involvement in corruption cases worth over Rs 1 lakh crore. His government is involved in a mining scam worth over Rs 60,000 crore while chit fund scams are also running into nearly Rs 20,000 crore. There are many other scams in which his regime's involvement is evident.

Q: But in the past 15 years, the state has prospered in terms of infrastructure development. How will you counter that argument?
A:
This is the prosperity of a few top industrialists and people close to the regime. In reality, Odisha is impoverished more than ever. The state government scheme of providing rice at Re 1 per kg [this is a central scheme] has ruined work culture and agriculture in the state. Education and health care have become inaccessible to a large section of people. These are not signs of development.

Q: What are your handicaps?
A:
We are not able to match money power of Naveen Patnaik.

Q: Why? You have a government at the centre that has been accused of even bigger scams. You ruled Odisha for decades in the past.
A:
(With a sheepish smile) No, we do not have resources. Let me tell you that we still have not given a penny to candidates; they are fighting on their own.

Q: Are you optimist?
A:
Of course, I am. We will ensure that deposits of Naveen's candidates are forfeited in most of the seats this time.

Comments

 

Other News

It`s time to Unlock now, with economic focus

With Lockdown 4 ending Sunday, the home ministry has issued new guidelines to fight COVID-19 and for phased re-opening of areas outside the Containment Zones. The guidelines, issued based on extensive consultations held with states and UTs, will be effective from June 1 till June 30. The first phase of reo

Small kitchen gardens turn saviours for Gujarat tribal families

When the whole world is fighting COVID-19, food and nutrition security has become a major issue. The pandemic has aggravated the existing food crisis in India, especially in rural and tribal regions. There has been less availability of fresh foods in most parts of the country, and the tribal community has

India will set example of post-Covid-19 economic revival: Modi

India is determined to “set an example” for the rest of the word in the post-pandemic economic revival, prime minister Narendra Modi has said, underling the need to become self-reliant. “There is also a widespread debate on how the economies of various countries, including

3,543 ‘Shramik Special’ trains transport 48 lakh people in 26 days

Close to 48 lakh migrant labourers have been able to reach home from the cities they were working in, as the Indian Railways have run a total of 3,543 “Sharmik Special” trains from May 1. Following the home ministry order regarding the movement by special trains of migrant worker

How Jeevan Raths have helped 52,000 migrants in Maharashtra

Before the novel coronavirus hit it, Mumbai about 10-12 lakh labourers from elsewhere had made it their home. The figure for the state of Maharashtra was another 18-20 lakh. As the pandemic spread and the Maximum City emerged as the worst-hit place in India, all economic activities came to an end, and with

China is practicing attack as the best form of defence

For the rest of the world, it is not easy to understand China when it comes to politics or economics. Under pressure from the international community, it has accepted to open the country for a “comprehensive” probe into the origin of the deadly coronavirus. But it is not clear whether the Asian



Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter