Bhubaneswar: Dissidence within the Congress party ostensibly over the party’s State leadership on Tuesday hit another level, with MLAs remaining absent in a meeting called by Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Prasad Harichandan in Koraput.
Party sources said, the Congress leader had asked the legislators to meet and discuss with them regarding the ensuing panchayat polls in the State.
Informing about the Tuesday meeting Harichandan said, “We couldn’t sit together to discuss some issues as four of our legislators didn’t turn up today due to ongoing Assembly session. This meeting will be convened soon”, he added.
Party sources added, two MLAs are currently camping in New Delhi to meet the party high command.
Sources said, though the party has not yet come up with an agenda for the panchayat poll, the party chief wanted to prepare a roadmap to corner the ruling BJD in the election. Senior Congress leader and former Union minister Srikant Jena and Mohammad Mokim were also present with Harichandan to attend the meeting.
Asked about the scheduled meeting, Opposition chief whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati claimed that he was unaware about it.
“Nobody informed me about the meeting. Even OPCC didn’t find me suitable to attend the meeting. I got to know about it from district Congress president this morning only”, Bahinipati stated.
In a related development, the party’s seven senior leaders including an MLA met K Raju, chairman of the AICC SC cell in New Delhi on Tuesday. They are Jaydev Jena, Bhakta Das, Pradeep Majhi, Krushna Sagria, Shyamsunder Hansdah, Ripunath Seth and Bankanidhi Behera.