Congress' Telangana victory will be repeated in 2024 Odisha Assembly polls

With only 9 MLAs in 147-member State Assembly, the grand old party aims to win 90 seats in 2024

Bhubaneswar: The victory of Congress in Telangana has resonated in Odisha as the party’s leaders and workers on Thursday hailed it as a "great revival" and claimed that a similar “show of success” would be exhibited in the state in 2024 State Assembly polls.

“The Congress will present a Telangana-like performance in Odisha in 2024 and become number one player in state politics from the present number three. We are working hard on the ground and our workers will surely fetch us a spectacular victory in the 2024 assembly elections,” Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) Sarat Pattanayak said on Thursday.

Out of power in the state since 2000 when it lost power to the then Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) coalition led by present chief minister Naveen Patnaik, the Congress now has only nine members in the 147-member State Assembly. Of the 21 Lok Sabha seats, it managed to win only the Koraput seat in 2019.

The grand only party has set a target to win at least 90 assembly seats in 2024 to dislodge the present Naveen Patnaik government.

The BJP which was shunted out by the ruling BJD in 2009 from an 11-year-old coalition, currently holds the second position in the Odisha Legislative Assembly with 22 members.

The ruling BJD has 113 members in the Assembly.

The Congress has witnessed a steady decline in its vote share. Its vote share which stood at 33.78 per cent in 2000 assembly polls, dropped to a negligible 16.12 per cent in 2019. In the 2022 rural polls, the Congress won only 37 of the 853 Zilla Parishad (ZP) seats while the ruling BJD got 766 seats. The BJP was content with 42 ZP seats.

In the urban polls, the ruling BJD won 95 out of 108 Urban Local Body Councils, BJP got 6, Congress 4.

“The high command has given me the responsibility to lift the party from number three to number one. I am working in that direction. I as well as all the leaders and workers have taken a vow to make the party number one in the state with the blessings of the people,” the OPCC chief said.

When asked about the criteria of candidate selection, Pattanayak said, “I have already said that winnability is our first criterion. We have decided to select candidates based on that. I have already announced that youths and women, including those below 50 years, who are sincerely working in their respective areas, will get tickets.”

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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