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Rift Wide Open in Congress as MLAs Meet Sonia, Rahul

Leaders express concern over the development as it may affect the party’s future in State.

Published: 22nd July 2015 06:54 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd July 2015 06:54 AM   |  A+A-

BHUBANESWAR: Even as 12 Congress MLAs from Odisha met party president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi at New Delhi on Tuesday, several senior leaders have expressed concern over the development as it may adversely affect the party’s attempt to reorganise in the State.

The meeting of the MLAs with Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi comes a week after Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Prasad Harichandan and Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Narasingh Mishra met the two leaders at New Delhi on July 13. Though the MLAs were tightlipped about what transpired at the meetings, sources maintained they wanted the ouster of Congress chief whip in the Assembly Taraprasad Bahinipati and announcement of State office-bearers of the party.

The move of the MLAs, however, has come in for criticism from senior leader Lalatendu Bidyadhar Mohapatra. The development will certainly affect the party’s bid to reorganise in Odisha, Mohapatra said and added that this will create a wrong perception among people. He, however, admitted that announcement of office-bearers has been delayed.

Though Harichandan has taken over as the president seven months back, there has been inordinate delay in announcement of office-bearers giving rise to discontentment among party leaders. About 50 block Congress committees (BCCs) do not have presidents.

Bahinipati described the move of the MLAs as an attempt to demoralise Congress workers. Stating that he has complete trust in Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, Bahinipati said he will abide by any decision taken by them.

Naba Kishore Das, a member of the delegation, however, said the MLAs did not demand removal of anybody from any post. “We discussed the ensuing Odisha tour of party vice-president Rahul Gandhi to Odisha,” he said.

The other members of the delegation were deputy leader of Congress Legislature Party Chiranjib Biswal, Prafulla Majhi, Anshuman Mohanty, Jogesh Kumar Singh, Prakash Chandra Behera, Krushna Chandra Sagaria, Kailash Chandra Kulesika, Jacob Pradhan, Debendra Sharma, Kengam Surya Rao and Subal Sahu.

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