BHUBANESWAR: The appointment of Sonia Gandhi as the interim president of All India Congress Committee (AICC) has enthused the rank and file in Odisha as the party’s activities are likely to pick up pace in the State.
The organisational wing of the party had become static after resignation of Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Niranjan Patnaik following the miserable performance of Congress in the recent Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. Patnaik’s resignation is yet to be accepted and he will continue in the post till his successor is appointed.
Party sources maintained that the possibility of announcement of a new OPCC president looks bleak now and Patnaik is likely to continue in the post. There may be some changes in the State and district office-bearers in the near future. The party may consider appointment of a new State president after the by-poll to Bijepur Assembly constituency, which is likely to be announced by the Election Commission soon.
Confusion prevailed in the State Congress after the resignations of Rahul Gandhi as the party president and Patnaik from his post. Though Congress contested election from Patkura Assembly seat on July 20, its candidate lost deposit putting the party in an embarrassing situation.
Sources said the aim now will be to ensure that the party’s performance in Bijepur by-poll looks respectable. Congress candidate Subal Sahu had won from the seat in 2014 Assembly elections.
Meanwhile, former OPCC president Jaydev Jena welcomed the appointment of Sonia as the interim president of the party by stating that Congress will get a new lease of life. “The development has caused fear in the BJP camp and their desire to make India, ‘Congress-mukt Bharat’ will never be possible,” Jena said.