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Mrunal Manmay Dash

Amid speculations and demand by some senior Congress leaders to overhaul the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) leadership, the two time OPCC Chief, Jayadev Jena on Monday said he is not in the race this time and does not want to sit on the chair either.

However, if the Congress High Command in Delhi makes him take charge, he won’t deny it, he said.

Speaking to OTV Jena said, “Whatever the task, I have always completed it with sincerity. Whenever the High Command has asked me to work as an observer in any state, I have done that with utter humility. But I am not in the OPCC President race as per the rumour mills. I do not want to become the OPCC President.”

Sharat Patnaik, who had donned the cap in the past, also said he will again sit on the coveted chair if the High Command deems him fit.

“The present chief Niranjan Patnaik had resigned from the post multiple times in the past. So, the change is inevitable. However, it rests completely with Sonia and Rahul Gandhis to change the chief in Odisha,” he added.

Senior Congress leader and Jatani MLA, Suresh Routray called for a complete overhaul of the OPCC structure. “Not only the PCC chief, but the structure needs to be changed completely. I want the State to be divided into four zones and to be placed under four working presidents. There should be at least eight vice presidents and 20 general secretaries.”

“The Odisha Congress will touch greater heights if the structure is changed as per my demand,” Routray added.

Earlier, Jeypore MLA, Tara Prasad Bahinipati had called for a change in OPCC chief and ouster of Niranjan Patnaik.

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