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Odisha Congress Chief Niranjan Patnaik Resigns Claiming Moral Responsibility for Poor Show in State

Odisha Congress Chief Niranjan Patnaik Resigns Claiming Moral Responsibility for Poor Show in State

Congress managed to win just nine Assembly seats in the state while only of its Lok Sabha candidates won in the state. In the 2014 polls for Odisha’s 147-member Assembly, 16 Congress candidates had won. The party had failed to get victory in any of the 21 Lok Sabha seats in the state in 2014.

Bhubaneswar: A day after the results of both Lok Sabha and Assembly polls were announced in Odisha, state Congress president Niranjan Patnaik resigned from the post on Thursday claiming moral responsibility for the party’s disastrous performance in the polls.

Congress managed to win just nine Assembly seats in the state while only one of its Lok Sabha candidates bagged a seat. In the 2014 polls for Odisha’s 147-member Assembly, 16 Congress candidates had won. The party had failed to get victory in any of the 21 Lok Sabha seats in the state in 2014.

Patnaik, 72, was also defeated in the two Assembly constituencies where he was contesting in the recently concluded polls – Bhandaripokhari and Ghasipura. Besides, his son Nabajyoti Das, who was the Congress candidate for Balasore Lok Sabha seat, also tasted defeat.

“I have sent my resignation to AICC president Rahul Gandhi. I claim moral responsibility for the party’s poor performance in Odisha. The state’s people have reposed their trust in Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” said Patnaik, who was in the firing line of several Congress leaders and workers ever since the poll results came in on Thursday.

Odisha’s ruling BJD, which has been in power in the state for four consecutive terms with Naveen Patnaik as the chief minister, registered a massive victory, winning as many as 112 of the 146 seats for which polls were conducted.

BJP, which was so far the second Opposition party in Odisha after Congress, won 23 Assembly seats, up from the 10 it had won in 2014. This means that Congress will no longer get the Leader of Opposition post in the state Assembly.

The ruling BJD had won 20 of the 21 Lok Sabha seats in Odisha in 2014, but its tally fell to 12 after the recent polls while BJP’s surged to eight.