Odisha Congress – Down, But Not Out

With BJP President Amit Shah sparing the ruling BJD and its chief Naveen Patnaik and holding his gun against the Congress Party at the ‘Mahasangram Rally’ in Bhubaneswar, the message was loud and clear – Congress era is not over yet. They are lying low, but trying to regroup and roar back with renewed energy at any point of time, which has definitely unnerved the BJP.

When Prasad Harichandan was appointed as the PCC chief replacing Jayadev Jena, who failed to enthuse the Congress cadres, a new era in Odisha Congress has begun. The BJP, which threatened to push the Congress to third spot, is definitely worried, as the grand old party is on the path of revival.

The bitter truth is neither the Congress nor the BJP are in a position to dislodge Naveen Patnaik in Odisha unless some miracle happens. It won’t be a surprise if Naveen retains power even after 2019 polls, provided his health condition and fitness permit so. He does not have a challenge or competition. He still remains the undisputed leader. So, the battle is between the Congress and BJP to secure the second spot and take on his charismatic leadership.

The first ‘Nava Chintan’ Shivir organised by the Odisha Congress in Bhubaneswar, provided enough opportunities to the leaders to forget their internal bickering and take an oath to fight the BJD and BJP both. They sought to learn from their mistakes and work with a proper strategy to reach out to the public and regain their trust.

The new PCC President, has so far shown urgency and seriousness to resolve the internal conflicts within the party and drive the cadres to get united and fight the rivals. The Odisha Congress has planned many such brainstorming sessions or Chintan Shivirs at different locations in the state. The next meet will be held in Jeypore on January 24, which will be attended by all Congress leaders from undivided Koraput district.

It would be interesting to see whether Prasad Harichandan will be able to check the slide of Congress party in Odisha or not. Despite the reverses in the recent past, it would be unfair and foolish to rule them out completely. They still have a strong organisation and dedicated workers, who can do wonders if they get united and work under proper guidance. Jayadev Jena and Srikant Jena failed to galvanise them. But, if Prasad gets them on board, the Congress will bounce back with a bang!

BJDBJPChintan ShivirNava ChintanOdisha CongressPrasad Harichandan