BHUBANESHWAR: Leaders of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) today reiterated their demand that Prasad Harichandan be removed from the post of president of the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) and former OPCC chief Niranjan Patnaik be appointed to replace him.
Besides, the party legislators also re-affirmed their confidence in Narasingh Mishra as the leader of the CLP in the state Assembly.
The CLP legislators along with Rajya Sabha MP Ranjib Biswal today met a three-member team of observers from the All India Congress Committee (AICC) and demanded an immediate change in the party's state leadership.
Earlier the legislators and the MP had gathered at the residence of Narasingh Mishra to discuss the demands that are to be raised with the observers.
"As resolved by the CLP earlier, the MLAs demanded the immediate appointment of Niranjan Patnaik as the next OPCC president," Congress chief whip in the assembly, Tara Prasad Bahinipati told reporters.
Party MLA Naba Kishore Das suggested changes at the grassroots level for the revival of Congress in Odisha.
Rajya Sabha MP Ranjib Biswal later told reporters that, "We (including the MLAs) apprised the observers about the situation and if they feel there is a need for a change, they will recommend it to the High Command."
The observers, Gaurav Gogoi, Tamrdhwaj Sahu and Jitendra Singh, wanted to meet the legislators separately. However, the MLAs rejected a request for the same.
Earlier, senior leaders, including the former chief minister Hemananda Biswal, former union ministers Srikant Jena, Chandrasekhar Sahu and Bhakta Charan Das had met the observers. Many former MPs and MLAs and the party's candidates in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections also met the three-member team. While some sought changes to the party leadership, others wanted Harichandan to continue.
Meanwhile, several senior legislators said they wanted Naba Kishore Das to be the next OPCC president.