Congress revamp: Leaders tight lipped on discussion with Rahul

Bhubaneswar: Even as buzz is that Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi has already prepared the chart of party’s State unit revamp, Odisha leaders who met him at his New Delhi residence are tight-lipped about the discussion they had on Monday.

Earlier in the day, Rahul met senior leaders, legislators, student Congress leaders and Mahila Congress workers in phases, but when asked, everyone stuck to one point that  the discussion was on strengthening the party at grassroots level.

“I think after hearing from all about the status of organisation in Odisha, he (Rahul) will take a call about any sort of party restructuring. But I feel, unless all the party activists work wholeheartedly and unitedly, any change in guard in Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) will yield nothing,” senior leader and former OPCC chief Niranjan Patnaik told OTV.

Other senior leaders too stated that a decision in change in party leadership is expected after Rahul meets all the invited party members by tomorrow. Sources said, Rahul is scheduled to meet Opposition chief whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati and MLA Prafulla Majhi tomorrow.

“He (Rahul) spoke to the State leaders and the discussion was satisfactory. Besides I am happy with my individual discussion with Rahul,” leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra said. Party sources said, Mishra and OPCC chief Prasad Harichandan had a one-to-one discussion separately with the Congress heir apparent and apprised him about the State issues.

Apart from workers and leaders at various levels, all 16 Congress legislators had raised a banner of revolt against Harichandan. These legislators, led by Mishra, had met the party’s central leadership on several occasions last year and even threatened to resign from the assembly if their demand for a change of guard was not met.

Harichandan had replaced Jayadev Jena as the state chief after the drubbing in the 2014 Lok Sabha and assembly elections. The Congress managed to bag just 16 out of 147 assembly seats and drew a blank in the Lok Sabha polls.