Elections 2019: Rift in Odisha Congress after Rahul announces new team

Bhubaneswar: Amidst talks of early elections, the All India Congress Committee (AICC) on Wednesday announced a new team of Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC). However, it has led to dissidence within the party after many leaders have been left out.

While many alleged that the PCC list includes people who are close to the party’s State unit president Niranjan Patnaik, others believe that it will boomerang for Congress.

“The recent PCC committee is even bigger than the previous one (formed during former PCC president Prasad Harichandan). Patnaik had then said ‘Besi Loka Re Musa Mare Ni’ (too many cooks spoil the broth).” Niranjan has now a much bigger team which even doesn’t have many senior and eligible leaders who are working for the party. The team should have been announced in consultation with all those leaders,” said PCC general secretary, Sangram Keshari Jena.

It is worth mentioning that during the Harichandan’s stint there was a team of around 200 but the present PCC team has over 250 members. Patnaik had then taken a dig saying that one cannot function in such chaos.

Senior Congress leader Sura Routray alleged that Patnaik has cunningly formed the team. “No PCC president had such a big team ever. He has taken all his close aides. He had even once told that those who supported him during his bad times would be included first, and he did the same,” he added.

Congress leader Sarat Rout, who has just found place in party’s campaign and core committees, also alleged, “The team has been formed as per the preferences of a single person.”

Meanwhile, Niranjan Patanik accepted the concerns and said:

“Eyeing the ensuing elections, the list has been prepared; it has some lacunae as some deserving people have been left out and even the share of women members has decreased.”

On the other hand, Niranjan Patnaik has scrapped the posts of political secretary, organisation secretary and permanent working committees formed during the tenure of Harichandan and included a new post, PCC Prabhari (in-charge) and informed that appointment for the same will be initiated soon.

Whether the new PCC team will help Odisha Congress sail through in 2019 remains to be seen.