BHUBANESWAR: A day after All India Congress Committee (AICC) dismissed office-bearers and dissolved all committees of Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) allowing Niranjan Patnaik to continue as the State president, the opposition is mounting against the decision of the party’s high command.
Criticising the decision, former Congress MP Amar Pradhan on Tuesday said though Niranjan is a successful businessman, he is not a successful politician. People rejected Congress in the 2019 Assembly and Lok Sabha polls as he (Niranjan) promoted dynastic politics by fielding his son. Pradhan slammed Niranjan for making the party his family affair due to which it has suffered.
Another senior leader and AICC secretary Sarat Rout maintained that Congress should not be destroyed for protecting the interest of an individual. However, several senior leaders have come out in support of Niranjan. Prominent among them are Rajya Sabha Member Ranjib Biswal and senior MLA Tara Prasad Bahinipati who maintained that Niranjan should be allowed to continue keeping in view the civic body polls which are likely to be held early next year.
Senior leader Suresh Kumar Routray urged leaders to work together for reviving the party. “For us nothing has changed as Niranjan was the president and continues to remain the same,” former OPCC president Jaydev Jena said.
A jumbo team of 138 office-bearers had been appointed before the 2019 General Elections to assist Niranjan as the OPCC president. Sources said AICC has directed Niranjan to submit a blueprint on the new team of Odisha Congress within 15 days. However, he has been asked to keep the size of the team small this time.