After over three months of the simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly elections, the All India Congress Committee (AICC) on Monday dismissed all office-bearers of Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) except the president and the working presidents.
A release issued by AICC general secretary KC Venugopal stated that party president Sonia Gandhi has also dissolved all committees formed at the time of General Elections. However, OPCC president Niranjan Patnaik and two working presidents Chiranjib Biswal and Pradip Majhi will continue in their posts.
Patnaik had resigned from his post soon after the results of Lok Sabha and Assembly elections were out because of the poor performance of Congress. While the party could win only one Lok Sabha seat, the number of Assembly seats slumped to nine from 16 in 2014. The OPCC president had admitted that though he had requested the AICC to accept his resignation thrice, it was not accepted. Sources now maintained that Patnaik’s resignation has been rejected by the AICC.
However, though there was a clamour for the resignation of Patnaik as the OPCC president after the elections, several senior leaders have come out in his favour recently. Congress Rajya Sabha Member Ranjib Biswal and senior legislator Tara Prasad Bahinipati had maintained that Patnaik should be allowed to continue in view of elections to the urban local bodies (ULBs) early next year.
The AICC had summoned several senior State Congress leaders for a discussion on the future course of action during former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s birth anniversary event organised at New Delhi on August 22. However, no discussion could be held on affairs of Odisha as the national leaders were busy with some other work. Sources said the status quo in the State Congress is likely to continue till elections to the ULBs are over.