By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, April 22, 2018: Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) will finalise its MLA and MP candidate lists for the state in next two months. Youths and women having winning prospects will be given priority in awarding tickets to contest the polls in 2019, All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary and Odisha in-charge Jitendra Singh said here on Sunday.

Speaking to reporters here after meeting separately the party’s MLAs, OPCC office-bearers, representatives of various wings of the OPCC and senior leaders of the party, Singh said indiscipline would no more be tolerated in the party and dissidents would be firmly dealt with.

“At present, our focus is to regain the faith and confidence of the party’s supporters who have migrated to other parties and bring them back to our fold. Besides, we would go to the people to tell them about the failures of the NDA government and seek their support to bring the Congress to back to power at the Centre as well as in Odisha for good governance,” he said.

The AICC general secretary blamed the Naveen Patnaik government for pushing Odisha into poverty and a state of utter chaos.

“After ruling the state for 20 years, the Naveen Patnaik government has achieved little in eradicating poverty. Odisha is now considered a bimaru (economically weak) state. Unemployment problem still hunts the government and the state of affairs in agriculture sector is shocking. Farmers are committing suicide due to lack of support,” said Singh.

Meanwhile, newly appointed Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee Niranjan Patnaik claimed that the state unit now stood united and the party would win the 2019 assembly polls hands down.

“Factionalism no longer exists in the state unit. Though we have slipped into the third spot in the 2017 panchayat elections for our own acts of omission and commission, we will certainly make a comeback and win the 2019 assembly elections and bag maximum of the 21 Lok Sabha seats,” Patnaik remarked.

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