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2018 Chhattisgarh Poll:AICC secretary optimistic of BJP defeat

Ex-IPS officer Dr Arun Oraon has taken over the charge of All Indian Congress Committee (AICC) secretary, and begun his journey in the organisation on a humble note. He is the second IPS officer from Jharkhand after Dr Ajoy Kumar, who quit the service to serve society through politics.

ranchi Updated: Jul 17, 2017 13:40 IST
B Vijay Murty
Newly appointed All India Congress Committee (AICC) secretary, a former IPS officer, Arun Oraon ( extreme right) along with AICC Vice President Rahul Gandhi and AICC General Secretary, P L Punia in New Delhi
Newly appointed All India Congress Committee (AICC) secretary, a former IPS officer, Arun Oraon ( extreme right) along with AICC Vice President Rahul Gandhi and AICC General Secretary, P L Punia in New Delhi (HT Photo)

Ex-IPS officer Dr Arun Oraon has taken over the charge of All Indian Congress Committee (AICC) secretary, and begun his journey in the organisation on a humble note. He is the second IPS officer from Jharkhand after Dr Ajoy Kumar, who quit the service to serve society through politics. Kumar is currently serving as AICC spokesperson.

A Punjab cadre IPS, Oraon opted for voluntary retirement three years back and had decided to take a plunge in politics. He joined Congress few months later and waited at the fence for the party leadership to give him a responsibility.

The party last weekend announced his nomination as the national secretary and gave him the responsibility of strengthening the organisation in neighbouring state, Chhattisgarh under the guidance of general secretary, PL Punia and another secretary, Kamleshwar Patel.

Chhattisgarh is headed for Assembly polls next week. Congress has pinned high hopes of retaining power this time as rival BJP, ruling the state for last three terms, is facing anti-incumbency and fronting people’s ire for failing to deliver to their expectations. Worse: The Left wing extremism issue has failed to die down and local tribal community continue to complain of gross human rights violations by forces, thereby alienating them from the saffron party.

“I am happy that I got the opportunity to work in Chhattisgarh. We share several things in common including culture, language and rights issues,” said Oraon, who is a prominent tribal face and hails from a respected political family. His father, Bandi Oraon has been an MLA, his father-in-law, Late Kartik Oraon had served in Indira Gandhi cabinet and mother-in-law, Late Sumita Oraon had been an MP. His wife, Geetashree Oraon has been a minister in the previous UPA government in Jharkhand.

All set for his maiden visit to Chhattisgarh after anointed secretary on Tuesday, Oraon is optimistic that he would be able to exploit his experience in the police service as well as politics to bring Congress back to power in the state.

“People in Chhattisgarh are fed up with the ruling party. Our organisation there is pretty strong as compared to Jharkhand and they are doing a good job. Last time, the deficit with BJP was merely one per cent although we were 10 seats behind BJP’s 49. The socio-political-religious scenario has changed over the years and we would be giving the ruling party a tough fight this time,” Oraon told HT.

He said the protests against power plants, forced land acquisition and anti-people policies of Raman Singh government has already hit the ruling party hard.