BHUBANESWAR : AMID calls for a change of guard in the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) following the party’s dismal performance in the panchayat and urban local body elections, the State president Niranjan Patnaik said he is prepared to quit whenever the high command wants him to do so.
Stating that change in the leadership of the Congress is nothing new, the OPCC chief said that a new president is appointed every two-three years. Patnaik said he is not going to stay as OPCC president permanently and there are many eligible leaders to replace him. “I will extend full cooperation to the next OPCC president,” he added.
The OPCC president said change is needed and it will better if it is done sooner. Stating that he is prepared to resign from the post even now, Patnaik said he had offered to quit after the 2019 elections. “The AICC has not accepted my resignation letter till yet. Have no idea when the high command will take a final call in this regard,” he said.
Patnaik was appointed as the OPCC president in April, 2018 following a revolt in the party against then State chief. It was also expected that the party will do better in the elections under his leadership. However, the party has gone from bad to worse during his tenure as the president.
Congress MLA from Jeypore, Tara Prasad Bahinipati had recently raised the issue of change in leadership of the party. He had demanded that an MLA should be made the president of the state Congress. Several other Congress MLAs Santosh Singh Saluja, Mohammed Moquim and Suresh Kumar Routray also supported his contention. Sources said that a change in the State Congress leadership is likely in third week of April.