17 October 2016
Bhubaneswar: With the rumour mill making rounds about the resignation of Odisha Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra during his New Delhi tour and AICC vice president summoning him alone for discussion on Monday forenoon, Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee appears to be a divided house yet again.
After Saturday’s half-an-hour closed-door parleys between Odisha Congress MLAs led by Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra and AICC vice president Rahul Gandhi, Rahul’s summoning of Narasingh alone on Monday adds credence to such a political development.
However, soon after meeting Rahul Gandhi on Monday, Narasingh Mishra dismissed the rumour about his resignation.
He also said to media that he along with the Odisha Congress Legislature Party members will stay in New Delhi for some more days to meet other AICC leaders.
Failing to get an appointment with AICC president Sonia Gandhi, the 16 MLAs met Sonia’s close aide Vincent George and held talks with him on the day.
Even at 5 pm on the day, they also met Ahmed Patel, considered to be confidant of Sonia Gandhi.
After their Saturday meeting with Rahul, the Congress MLAs had held a closed-door meeting at the Odisha Niwas in the national capital.
As per sources, the MLAs on Sunday also met at the New Delhi residences of Congress Rajya Sabha member Ranjib Biswal and former PCC president Niranjan Patnaik to work out their strategies.
Several Congress leaders here in Odisha on Sunday confessed to factions and dissent inside the party, particularly between incumbent Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president Prasad Harichandan and Leader of Opposition Narasingh Mishra.
The MLAs are in their bid to convince the AICC high command that the present state of affairs of the party in Odisha could not revive its fortunes. They are seeking immediate change of guard in the PCC.
Though the Leader of Opposition or any of the Congress MLAs revealed anything to media after meeting Rahul Gandhi on Saturday, Opposition Chief Whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati on Sunday told media that they had raised organisational matter with Rahul Gandhi.
Without getting into details, Bahinipati told media that besides discussing the Mahanadi issue, PCC organisational matters were also taken up. Meanwhile, Odisha PCC vice president Pradeep Majhi has also confessed to media that there have been fissures in the party.
“There have been instances of difference in opinion. They have become pretty evident between the PCC President and Leader of Opposition on occasions. Both of them have a huge responsibility on them to bring together all the leaders and carry the party forward in the State. It would be of benefit to the party, if the PCC President and Leader of Opposition try to establish better coordination,” said Majhi.
Notably, the Leader of Opposition and the PCC President seem to be on a collision course recently over many issues.