Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Congress candidates in Orissa have failed to show how morally they are better equipped than their rivals in the fray. The way Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh denigrated the Parliament in the matter of the nuke deal with USA and stage-managed survival through horse-trading, has remained too fresh in peoples’ mind to allow any Congress candidate trade on morality ground.

Every contesting candidate of the Congress party knows that the only chance for his / her victory is cocooned in the purse that the party would provide. But that cocoon does not open!

Except those, who have black money and who treat electoral expenses as investment against anticipated higher income, none of the Congress candidates has taken up electioneering with noticeable energy and confidence. Rather majority of Congress candidates is confused. The scenario is such bleak that local heavyweights of the party in different constituencies are ignorant of their party manifesto, as copies thereof have not reached them! A few numbers of contesting candidates of the party have confided that they are unable to meet the daily need of campaign workers.

Electioneering over, it is now time to appoint booth workers and counting agents. Many of them do not know how to meet the cash demand on this head.

Has the Congress high command not released the money or the “appointed” gang of five has swindled the party fund in connivance with central emissaries is what is hunting the confused Congress candidates.

The way BJD is dazzling with every wish of every worker thereof fulfilled, the Congress candidates, who, by experience know that their party is neither a party of saints nor a party with no funds, are apprehending that they may not get workers to serve them in the booth, if purses are not opened immediately.

A number of candidates confided that it would not be surprising if they flee from the field to evade payment to campaigners and vehicle providers.

Most of them suspect that the “appointed” leadership of the State Congress is at the root of non-supply of required funds to them and howsoever misplaced such suspicion might be, they are in such mood that post-election review may force the ‘gang of five’ test how acrimonious could be frustration over inability to win a game of power-politics.

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