Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar/New Delhi: In an effort to address dissent and strengthen its organisational structure in Odisha ahead of the 2019 elections, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi will meet party MLAs from the State and seek their views to resurrect the party on May 8 and 9.

Of the 16 Congress MLAs, many have demanded a reshuffle in PCC level and wished to see return of former Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president Niranjan Patnaik as the next PCC chief. They claimed that Patnaik has the potential of reviving the grand old party after the panchayat poll debacle.

"We strongly recommend Niranjan Babu for PCC chief and will apprise the high command about our decision", Ansuman Mohanty said.

Jeypore legislator Tara Prasad Bahinipati also echoed similar sentiments. ''Beginning from panchayat level to PCC chief, there is an urgent need of change in leadership. We will raise the matter unitedly in  the meeting with top authority", Bahinipati added.

However, Patnaik has a different say on it. "I would think hundred times if I was offered the post of PCC president. Our first priority is to strengthen the base", he added.

On the other hand, some MLAs will bat against the intra-party squabble. "I do not want a change in the leadership. My only aim is to strengthen the party and ensure victory by defeating BJD", MLA Naba Das said.