BHUBANESWAR: With no word yet from the All India Congress Committee (AICC) on the future course of action for revival of the party in Odisha, the State unit of Congress remains in a state of confusion.
It has been more than three months since the president of Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) Niranjan Patnaik resigned from the post after the party’s dismal performance in 2019 Assembly and Lok Sabha elections. Patnaik, according to his own admission, has requested the AICC to accept his resignation thrice. However, the AICC has neither accepted it nor formally made an announcement allowing him to continue in the post.
Several senior leaders of the State unit of the party had left for New Delhi to attend the 75th birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on August 22 expecting that there may be some discussion on organisational matters in view of the elections to urban local bodies (ULBs) likely to be held next year and by-poll to Bijepur Assembly constituency.
Some of the leaders, who had been to New Delhi to attend Rajiv Gandhi’s birth anniversary event, maintained that there was no separate meeting on Odisha as the senior leaders of the party were busy with other issues.
Sources, however, maintained that a decision is likely to be taken on the issue of OPCC president soon. The party is also planning a massive organisational restructuring at all levels to strengthen its base. But there has been no public announcement by any senior leader about the future course of action to be adopted by the party.
Several leaders maintained that the ensuing ULB polls will offer a chance before the Congress to revitalise its cadres. They said to make the most of the opportunity, either changes should be done at all levels or the present office-bearers including the OPCC president allowed to continue. Congress Rajya Sabha member Ranjib Biswal and senior MLA Tara Prasad Bahinipati had openly come out in support of continuance of Patnaik as OPCC president in view of the urban body polls and by-election to Bijepur which is likely to be announced soon.