India

Odisha: State Congress chief Niranjan Patnaik quits over poll debacle

Odisha: State Congress chief Niranjan Patnaik quits over poll debacle

A day after the Congress suffered a drubbing at the hands of the BJD and the BJP in Odisha in the Loks Sabha as well as the Assembly, the party’s state chief Niranjan Patnaik on Friday announced that he had submitted his resignation.

“I have lost myself (from two Assembly constituencies). The Congress Party has also lost. Taking a principled stand, I have informed the AICC president I would like to quit as state president,” Patnaik said adding, “I will remain in the Congress and support others in the party.”

Patnaik was appointed chief of the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee chief for the second time just over a year ago. He was tasked with reviving the party’s fortunes after its debacle in the local body elections in the state.

He was the party’s main manager in the state in the run up to the Lok Sabha polls and had contested the Assembly polls from Ghasipura and Bhandaripokhari. His son contested the Balasore MP seat. Both father and son lost.

The Congress won a single Lok Sabha seat of the 21 in the state and 9 of the 146 Assembly seats. “My hope rests on 87 new faces fielded by the Congress this time out of 147 candidates. I believe that I have sowed seeds for the Congress,” he said.