Infighting in Odisha Congress grows bitter


Bhubaneswar: The ongoing infighting in Congress is getting bitter with several MLAs of the party today meeting at the residence of Opposition Party Leader Narasingha Mishra and reportedly chalking out a strategy to oust the incumbent president of Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) Prasad Harichandan.

Congress MLA from Sundergarh Jogesh Singh on Wednesday said he will not contest the upcoming election if Harichandan continues to be at the helm of affairs.

“Harichandan lacks leadership. I don’t want to contest election under his leadership. I will reconsider my decision to contest in the upcoming election only if he is replaced with a competent leader,” Singh said.

Similarly, Jeypore Congress MLA Tara Prasad Bahinipati said he is unsure of contesting the 2019 elections if Prasad Harichandan stays as OPCC chief.

“Congress is in dire need of a person who can strengthen the party,” Bahinipati said.

However, senior Congress leader Suresh Kumar Routray on the other hand alleged that the party has lost its position because of vested interests of a few MLAs.

“The legislators who want a change in OPCC don’t have any right to demand such a move. They are mere party workers like me,” he said.

Amid such hostility within the Congress, Special Branch of the State has written to the Bhubaneswar DCP fearing a confrontation between the supporters of Harichandan and rival leaders.

“Confrontation between supporters of both the rival groups of Congress may take place leading to serious law and order situation. The rival group may also try to capture the Congress Bhawan,” the letter read.

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