Rourkela: With the elections approaching and a new district Congress committee (DCC) being formed, the party is appearing active these days. New DCC chief Rashmi Ranjan Padhi, by his admission, is trying to repair the house. There is also speculation that George Tirkey, a former Congressman, may make a comeback to the party. George had contested the last election on a Congress ticket but had lost. Currently, he is busy in his backyard, the Biramitrapur constituency, and at times is making forays to this town to regain the voters’ confidence.
In fact, in the 2019 Assembly elections, both George and his son Rajesh had lost. It prompted George to leave the Congress. Then he almost stayed dormant for three years. However, sources in Congress and others indicated that George, in all likelihood, will rejoin the party if everything goes according to plan. Former IAS officer Bijaya Patnaik has made a couple of trips here to hold discussions with ‘George Dada’. When the new DCC was asked on this issue, Padhi said, “I am too small a fry to talk about this important development, but yes, I have also heard about it.” George tried hard to get back to the BJD, but despite many assurances, doors to the party remained closed for him. A couple of months back, George had informed Orissa POST, “I am ready to join the BJD at any moment but I am yet to get the green signal from them.”
Meanwhile, Padhi is trying his best to bring back old-timers and also strengthen the party at all levels including the block. After his coronation, the suspension of Umesh Saran was withdrawn. It should be stated here that Saran an MLA ticket aspirant and former Ranji Trophy player Sabir Hussein were involved in an ugly fight in the Congress office here. For this Saran had been suspended. “Saran bhai is back in the Congress as the suspension has been lifted by PCC chief. Now I am trying to reorganise the block-level party structure. I am also in touch with old Congress persons who are staying away from politics,” Padhi said. Padhi informed his next agenda would be to form the party’s district committee. Early in 2024, the party will conduct a huge demonstration in front of the Rourkela Municipality Corporation. “We want to show the people that Congress is ba