PCC chief bid to restore normalcy in Odisha Congress

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Bhubaneswar: In an effort to ensure unity in the party which, of late, has witnessed a series of incidents with some senior leaders engaging in a war of words, president of the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) Prasad Harichandan has convened a meeting of the PCC Coordination Committee on February 21.

Though Harichandan has refused to tell the media about the issues to be discussed at the meeting stating that this is the party’s internal matter, he has announced the visit of Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi to the state.

“Rahulji is scheduled visit a number of states including Odisha. We will announce and date and place of his visit very soon,” Harichandan said.

On the other hand, senior Congress leader Lalatendu Bidyadhar Mohapatra has welcomed the decision of the PCC president to convene the Coordination Committee meeting, but with a pinch of salt.

“I thank the PCC chief for inviting the old guards of the ‘Old Age Home’ members to attend the meeting after one-and-half year. We will positively attend the meeting,” he quipped.

Expressing satisfaction on the efforts of the PCC president, he said the party leaders and workers will work only if they know the agenda and discuss it at the meeting.

Taking the side of the PCC president, former PCC chief Jayadev Jena said it is not that the coordination committee meeting is convened if there is disorganisation in the party.

“The objective of the coordination committee meeting is to make the party broad-based. It also helps the party to formulate strategies for the forthcoming elections and take future course of action. After the PCC president and AICC general secretary B Hariprasad felt that it is the right time to convene the coordination committee, the former has decided to convene the meeting,” he pointed out.

Though the PCC chief has not spoken about the agenda to be discussed at the meeting, sources in the party said the meeting would discuss about strengthening the party base in the state, the visit of Rahul Gandhi, the stand of the party on the agitations of the dalits and tribals as well as the farmers’ issues.

Apart from this, the meeting would lay emphasis on putting an end to the ongoing intra-party bickering and ensure proper coordination among the leaders and workers, the sources added.

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