Pipili Debacle: Odisha Cong Workers Demand Party President’s Scalp

Bhubaneswar: With the Congress candidate failing to garner more than 5,000 votes in Pipili byelections, the party workers on Sunday demanded resignation of OPCC president Niranjan Patnaik on Sunday.

When the counting of votes polled in the bypoll was midway on the day, it was evident that the Congress had lost the race miserably. It was trailing at third spot behind the main opposition BJP and ruling BJD.

At this time, some Congress workers thronged the party headquarters in the city and staged a demonstration against OPCC president. They raised slogans against him and demanded his resignation on moral ground.

They also raised slogans like ‘Niranjan Hatao, Congress Bachao’ (remove Niranjan to save Congress). They said the party has reached a new low due to mismanagement of its affairs by the OPCC president.

“The Congress had to pay a heavy price as Niranjan entrusted responsibilities to inexperienced young leaders and outsiders, ignoring the veterans. He is neither coming to Congress Bhavan (party headquarters) nor interacting with the leaders and workers. As a result, the party has to pay a heavy price,” said agitating workers.

They further said this is for the third time in a row that the Congress has performed poorly in the byelections in the last one year. Before Pipili, the party had fared miserably in Balasore and Tirtol bypolls held in November 2020.

Alleging that Niranjan was hands in glove with the ruling BJD and had sold the party ticket to highest bidder, the Congress workers threatened to take up the matter with central leadership in New Delhi.

At the end of counting, the BJD won Pipili bypoll by a margin of 20,916 votes. Rudra Pratap Maharathy of BJD received 96972 votes while BJP’s Ashrit Pattanayak polled 76,056 votes and Congress’ Bishwokeshan Harichandan Mohapatra 4,261 votes.

However, the results are yet to be declared officially.

Also Read: Odisha: BJD Betters Its 2019 Performance In Pipili Bypoll; Winning Margin 20916

Also Read: Why Pipili Win Could Mark A Significant Change In BJD’s Script

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