New Congress Team for Orissa is a confusing incongruity: Orissa waiting for end of BJD misrule is betrayed again

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

In Oriya, a saw says, “Bahu Lokare Musa Mareni” which means many people together cannot kill a mouse. Reason is: many people become confused in their collective action. The new team of Congress “appointed” for Orissa gives this impression and there is no reason to accept that it will not be more contributive to the continuing confusion in the Pradesh Congress.

We have repeatedly shown in these pages that Congress high command being a lobby body of industrialists including foreigners has been keeping the Orissa State Unit of Congress organizationally weak to help the “supremo” of BJD Naveen Patnaik, known for his eagerness to serve the avaricious big industries, even foreign based industries, continue in power sans any opposition. By “appointing” the new leadership of OPCC, the Congress high command betrayed the people of Orissa again, who are eagerly waiting for end of the present misrule. We apprehend this; because, the new team of PCC President Prasad Harichandan “appointed” by the Congress high command (CHC) is seemingly a conglomerate of confusing incongruity.

Besides ten Vice-Presidents, the CHC has “appointed” 55 Secretaries. One cannot imagine what these 55 Secretaries would do. It should have taken the opportunity of “appointing” new Secretaries to cover all the administrative departments of Orissa with one capable Secretary in charge of one department, so that people of Orissa could have got the picture of misrule in each of the administrative departments from the main Opposition Party. This is not going to happen.

If fifty five secretaries were needed for the Congress, the party should have a single General Secretary to whom these massive numbers of secretaries should have been asked to report. The party could have been led thus in a responsible manner. But, instead of one, 25 numbers of General Secretaries have been “appointed”. As if this is not enough, it has “appointed” 37 numbers of organizing secretaries over and above the 25 general secretaries and 55 secretaries.

But this is not the end. It has “appointed” five political secretaries, as if all the above 117 secretaries are non-political! Confusion! Thy name is Congress!

The CHC has “appointed” a mega committee in the guise of coordination with the PCC president as its convener. When the general secretary of AICC in charge of Orissa is its ex officio chairman, the AICC secretary in charge of Orissa is an ex officio member in this committee. The rest 20 members in this 23 strong committee are senior Stale level leaders with witnessed history of rivalry with each other. They are collectively a total anathema to the term ‘coordination’. If a coordination committee was needed, the two AICC secretaries in charge of Orissa should have been given the charge. But what gain the Congress shall bag by “appointing” such a pack of habitual practitioners of internecine rivalry as coordinators of the Pradesh Congress is a conundrum, we suspect, the Congress is unable to understand.

Even the illiterate farmers of Orissa know that over-saturation of paddy plants are counterproductive. Hence they destroy excessive paddy plants from their respective fields by way of puddling, as a practice. In over-saturating the Pradesh Congress with such massive numbers of leaders, the Congress High Command has clearly shown that it is lacking in this minimum wisdom.

If not, how shall such subjugation of the State Unit of Congress to over-saturation of “appointed” leaders be read?

Congress dismisses a leader whose only concern was strengthening of the Congress in Orissa!

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Soumya R. PatnaikOrissa’s Soumya Ranjan Patnaik has been dismissed from the Congress Party, as his endeavors to strengthen the Congress in the State were viewed as stark indiscipline.

Earlier as disciplinary actions were initiated against him, we had predicted how this would be detrimental to the organization. The just concluded urban election has proved the accuracy of our prediction, as in the action initiated against SRP, people of Orissa again noted that the Congress high command stands not with the Congress in the State, but with the agents of POSCO – the BJD – at the time of elections. Had it not been so, the Congress could have achieved tremendous success in Orissa ULB elections.

Despite a noted offender like Jagdish Tytler imposed on Orissa Pradesh Congress by its national boss, Orissa had witnessed how the party was woken up from its slumber in the State by Sri Niranjan Patnaik after his appointment as president of the provincial committee. The unprecedented display of public support to Congress was marked in the mammoth rally at Bhubaneswar on September 06, 2012. And, as we had marked, the Congress was getting back its acceptability day by day under Niranjan Patnaik.

But all on a sudden, he was replaced with Jaydev Jena, whom the Congress had, at the verge of the last general election, replaced with the son of the tyrant king of Dhenkanal whose tyranny was exterminated by the organized body of the tortured people – Praja Mandal – that forced him to abdicate his kingship and merge his State with the new independent country.

As there was no logic behind replacement of Jaydev Jena by K.P.Singhdeo at that time, there is no logic behind replacement of Niranjan Patnaik with Jaydev Jena this time.

But all these times, the discernible design of the Congress high command has remained same. Come elections, Congress high command injects confusion into psyche of Orissa voters about the stability and acceptability of whosoever leads the Congress in the State, so that the agent of POSCO retains power in Orissa.

This time, lest the people get glimpses of this secret design, Jairam Ramesh – somewhat considered pro-environment by the people here, hence far from POSCO and the likes – was shrewdly used to convey that the Congress is right in initiating disciplinary actions against SRP.

And, finally, the design has succeeded in dismissal of SRP.

Had the Congress motive not been vitiated with the design to help Naveen by deliberate weakening of the Congress in Orissa, the entire leadership of the Congress party should have stood with SRP and adopted the method he was using to strengthen the Congress. But that was never to be and that has not been. Fate of Congress in next election is doomed. Its electoral prospects would never be salvaged by any leader it has planted in the State. It may pin its hope only on an yet to evolve environment when the masses like the asses will rise up against the ruling commission agents of Orissa chapter, if at all that happens.

Should the prodigal son return home?

As far as SRP is concerned, as a man who knows him and wants his potentiality used for betterment of Orissa, I would like to suggest that he should go back to BJP. Under the wave Modi has already created, BJP should have become an achiever in the just concluded ULB election, as fellows of class character akin to BJP constitute the commanding layer in urban areas. But, it is in such sophomoric hands in Orissa that it has suspended Murli Manohar Sharma, the man totally dedicated to BJP, who could manage to help BJP take over Barbil ULB with mere two members in the Council. In fact, with the present set of leadership, BJP has no prospect in Orissa. So, if the wave being created by Modi is to be taken advantage of in Orissa, BJP must need a new leader with tremendous mass contact in the State. And, under such circumstances, if BJP approaches SRP, he being never averse to political economy of capitalism that BJP stands for, there should be no hesitation on his part to accept the BJP offer. Thereby, the prodigal son may return home and the POSCO agent in power in Orissa may be shown the door.

Need of Orissa

If this does not happen, SRP should consult his colleagues and friends to transform AMA ODISHA to a provincial political party. To safeguard Orissa’s regional interest, BJD having gone to the pockets of POSCO and the likes, Orissa essentially needs a strong political sentinel of her own. And, AMA ODISHA can be that political sentinel, with no specific political economy, but with the single aim to do everything that suits Orissa.

Reshuffle in Central Cabinet has Significance for Orissa

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

In a system, where the ruling party members compete to exceed each other in loyalty to a particular family, staying in or going out of a cabinet berth does not merit any mention. Yet, the 28 October reshuffle in the central cabinet attracts attention; because it has certain significance for Orissa.

For the last 12 years it is ruled by a particular person – Naveen Patnaik – who heads the ruling party as well as the government. This has given birth to sycophancy in the ruling party. And, sycophancy has gone up to such shocking extent that a senior member of the cabinet, S.N.Patro could pronounce in a public meeting that he feels himself fortunate by having Naveen Patnaik as the “master” and is proud of being his servant (Chakara)!

People of Orissa are severely embarrassed over such shameless sycophancy practiced by the ministers and fellows appearing as leaders of BJD, the party that had managed to get their mandate in 2009.

Before 2009, Naveen was the Chief Minister for two consecutive terms. But, as he was then heading coalition governments partnered by BJP, there were some obstacles to his running the government like an autocrat. When Samir De, for example, was very vociferous in disagreement with him on many occasions in the cabinet meetings, Juel Oram, beyond the cabinet, was a severe critic of the CM’s wrong steps.

But the coalition with the BJP quashed, the third phase of Naveen Raj has become such a phase of unrestrained misrule that even his closest ally Pyari Mohan Mohapatra, the man who had caused quashing of the coalition, has come out openly against him. Evolution of Jan Morcha is indicative of how people of Orissa are eager to get rid of this government.

Congress begins rescue operation

This eagerness was marked in massive participation of the people in the ‘Occupy Assembly’ rally of the Congress on September 6. This rally revived organizational morality of the Congress to the chilling chagrin of Naveen, who, since May 29 internecine revolt in BJD, is in a state of nervousness.

But, like in all previous critical junctures, the Congress high command has commenced its operation for his rescue with the reshuffle in the central cabinet.

Congress MPs from Orissa are quite competent and experienced and unlike Salman Khursid, they are non-controversial.

Ram Chandra Khuntia is a renowned labor leader and a polished person. Bhakta Charan Das is a former union minister with a much unblemished career. Hemanand Biswal is a former chief minister with enough experience in administration. Any or all of them could have become better than many the Prime Minister has taken in as ministers. The lone minister from Orissa – Srikant Jena – has earned the distinction of being a non-controversial and capable minister in Singh’s council. He has distinguished marks as a central cabinet minister prior to joining Singh as a Minister of State. And, in his present position, he has not done any wrong to be denied of elevation to cabinet rank.

Why then Singh has not taken any of them into his cabinet when he knows and has declared that this is the last reshuffle before the next election? This is because; the Congress High Command wants a message to be delivered to the people of Orissa that none of Congress leaders of the province is suitable for ministerial positions. For Naveen’s benefit, such a message was essential.

Had Orissa got its legitimate share in the central cabinet, the Congress in the province, which was just waking up, could have got the much needed impetus to offer the people an alternative. But, that would have troubled Naveen Patnaik, the paragon of pro-globalization intentions that match with that of the Prime Minister. So, no new challenger to Naveen’s position was to be promoted through the reshuffle.

History of Congress sabotaging Congress in Orissa

Sabotaging the provincial Congress unit by the Congress High Command to ensure continuance of Naveen Patnaik as Chief Minister is not new.

Replacement of Jayadev Jena with K.P.Singhdeo as PCC President just before the 2009 general election is an instance.

Singhdeo is the son of the ill-famed king of Dhenkanal, Shankar Pratap, under whose tyranny the youngest martyr of India Baji Raut had lost his life.

Though a Marxist like Veer (The Brave) Baishnab Pattanayak was leading the revolution, it is the Congress under the banner of which the people of Dhenkanal had compelled the tyrant king to abdicate his throne. So, replacement of Jena with the son of the same Dhenkanal king was the worst shock the Congress rank and file in Orissa had to absorb before facing the voters. It could not, exactly as calculated by the Congress high command.

Jena, initially not considered in Orissa as the correct choice to head the PCC, had, with tremendous perseverance and dedication to his responsibility, boosted up the morality of Congress rank and file and ushered in a remarkable team spirit, which was promising enough to net in electoral success. Therefore, he had to go, under circumstances created by super-sycophants of the Congress high command, for whom continuance of Naveen Patnaik as Orissa’s Chief Minister was more necessary in the cause of plutocracy propounded by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

With Singhdeo at the helm of affairs, as calculated, the Congress in Orissa was too demoralized to gain popular support.

Singhdeo’s appointment as PCC chief just before the election was a great boon to Naveen Patnaik.

Similar boon was also granted to him by the Congress high command when Naveen was seeking mandate for the second time. Dig Vijay Singh was appointed to boss over electioneering in Orissa. Politicians dismissed by Naveen from his cabinet and BJD on corruption charges were given party tickets. Congress was rejected even when people were crying for relief from Naveen’s misrule.

Omission of Orissa’s distinguished MPs from inclusion in the cabinet and denial of elevation to Orissa’s lone member in the council of ministers to cabinet rank makes us convinced that the Congress High Command does not want the Congress in Orissa to come to a challenging position against the BJD supremo.

Tytler’s Visit was Meant to Suppress the Legislative Conscience of CLP Members


Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Jagdish Tytler’s visit to Orissa was not for reviving the provincial Congress unit lying in coma, but for helping Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik survive the storm over slow-poisoning of school going kids and carrying women that were, for years, heartlessly fed with poisonous split pulses across the State.

The pulse scandal had pushed Naveen into an unprecedentedly bitter political quagmire, with Debashish Nayak of his own party having exposed the savage crime. Nayak has alleged in the Assembly that he has received threats to his life because of this.

Last session of Orissa Legislative Assembly was entirely lost on the issue of chief-ministerial protection to tainted ministers and the first part of the current session was equally lost over the exposure of the split-pulse scam. Despite dismissal of the lady minister who presided over the women and child development department during the period of the scam, there was no change of stance in Congress Legislative Party in the second phase of this session too, as it was harping on the demand for discernible action against all the perpetrators of the heinous crime.

Every day was becoming, in the court of mass conscience, a day of Naveen’s conviction for the crime against the children and pregnant women of Orissa.

The CM and his caucus together were so concussed that to carry on, the Congress Legislative Party was, at any cost, to be gained over.

At this stage, Congress High Command came, yet again, to the rescue of Naveen by prodding the CLP members to soften their stance and participate in the proceedings of the Assembly. Tytler fulfilled this secret mission.

As we have earlier shown in these pages several times, the Congress high command has always stood with Naveen, both being factors of plutocracy and facilitators of POSCO and other American interests.

Change of PCC Presidents at the eve of general elections, oblivious of how adversely may that affect Congress prospects, is indicative of how the Congress high command has kept the Congress Party in Orissa weakened in order to keep Naveen in power so that POSCO and the likes would gain.

The game plan is so solid that Orissa had to witness a surprise stoppage of election of PCC President, the moment it was clear that one of the working Presidents of PCC – Lalatendu Vidyadhar Mohapatra- the marked merciless crusader against Neveen’s misrule, was sure to win.

No wonder, Tytler was sent to suppress the collective legislative conscience of CLP members and impose on them the commands of the high command that Naveen should no more be embarrassed by stonewalling of the Assembly over pulse scandal.

As always, the Congress legislators have obliged their so-called high command and Naveen has gained back confidence that despite corruption, he shall stay in power.