Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Niranjan Patnaik on Friday announced his resignation from the post in the wake of the party's electoral debacle in the state. "I have sent my resignation to AICC President (Rahul Gandhi) owning moral responsibility for the party's poor show in both Lok Sabha and Assembly polls in the state," Patnaik told reporters.
"While the Congress faced defeat in the state, I too lost at the hustings," the Congress stalwart said. Admitting that the Congress had failed to win the confidence of the people, Patnaik said "the party needs to take concrete steps to set the organisation in proper shape by getting rid of opportunists and attracting youths into its fold."
He said that he had tried his best to bolster the party's poll prospects. Patnaik said a committee, headed by senior leader Narasingha Mishra, has been set up to ascertain the reason behind the drubbing suffered by the Congress in Odisha.
While Congress has won only one Lok Sabha seat and nine assembly seats in Odisha, Patnaik also faced defeat in the assembly polls. The grand old party had won 16 out of the 147 assembly seats in the state in 2014 elections.
A day before the counting of votes, Patnaik had conceded that the Congress would not be able to post an impressive show in the state. Shortly after his remarks, a number of senior party leaders had come down heavily on Patnaik alleging gross mismanagement of party affairs which led to the "dismal performance" by party candidates in the state.