Bhubaneswar: A day after the resignation of BK Hariprasad as AICC general secretary, a group of State party leaders, who used to question his capabilities in handling the party affairs, now became vocal taking the intraparty squabble a step forward.
Even as Hariprasad owned up moral responsibility for the dismal performance of the party in recently concluded Zilla Parishad elections, some top rebel leaders in State came down heavily on the central leader and reiterated their demand that PCC president Prasad Harichandan should follow the path of Hariprasad.
Senior leader Anant Sethi expressed pleasure over the resignation of party’s Odisha in-charge while remaining firm on his demand of Prasad’s ouster. “It is belated, but he (Hariprasad) ultimately admitted to his mistake. I am happy for that. Had he been introspected after the soon after the Assembly election, such a situation would not crop up. PCC president Prasad Harichandan should feel the situation and take appropriate step like Hariprasad”, Sethi said.
“I would have resigned immediately if I was in the place of Harichandan”, Sethi added.
Stepping up the revolt against the State in-charge and PCC chief, Opposition chief whip and firebrand leader Tara Prasad Bahinipati thanked the AICC leader for quitting his post owing moral responsibility for the poll debacle. “He should have resigned before the panchayat election and be removed just after the Assembly elections. Anyway, I thanked him for his belated decision. Prasad Babu also should quit the post on moral ground”, Bahinipati said.
“Congress was rooted out in State. Is not he responsible for it”, Bahinipati questioned.
Leader of Opposition Narasingh Mishra, however, maintained balancing act from both side. “It is upto him whether somebody resigns from his post. But, change of guard completely depends on party. Congress’ performance is very disheartening in the panchayat polls. In view of this, one can tender his resignation”, Mishra pointed out.
Hariprasad, who had been facing revolt within the party for last few months, owned up moral responsibility for the dull show, but asserted to remain in Congress till last. “I took the accountability for party’s poor performance in zilla parishad election in Odisha and have submitted detailed report to party high command. She would take appropriate action”, Hariprasad told newsmen in Delhi.
However, he said he would never shun the party. “I am not like a bird flying from outside. I am with the party for last 40 years and will continue to serve it till my last”, he maintained.