Niranjan Should Continue as Odisha Congress President: Tara Bahinipati

Bhubaneswar: After being appointed as the interim president of the All India Congress Committee (AICC), Sonia Gandhi has summoned senior party leaders from Odisha and other parts of the country for a meeting on August 22. Though there is no clarity on the agenda of the meeting, it is believed that Sonia will try to chalk out strategy to rejuvenate the grand old party.

Senior Congress leader Tara Prasad Bahinipati, however, stated that he would urge the party high command not to change the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) leadership and Niranjan Patnaik should continue till the upcoming civic polls in the State.

“The change in leadership will not favour party as civic body polls are round the corner. I will urge the party high command to back Niranjan Patnaik,” said Bahinipati.

Bahnipati further stated that though Congress workers at the grassroots level are united, there is some divide among the senior leaders.

“I urge senior leaders including Jayadev Jena, Sarat Rout and Niranjan Patnaik to come together so that Congress performs well in the urban body elections in Odisha,” Bahinipati added.

Congress MLA Sura Routray, on the other hand, said “The meeting has been convened so that Congress can be strengthened before 2024.”

Not only Congress, other major political parties including BJD and BJP are also leaving no stone unturned to rectify the mistakes and are trying to set their own houses in order.

BJP’s membership drive, which began on July 6, concluded today and party will soon gear up to appoint State president and block and district presidents as part of its strategy to reorganize the party at the grassroots level.

Though speculations are rife that party might re-appoint Basant Panda as State president, names of Sundergarh MP Jual Oram and Vice-president Samir Mohanty are also doing rounds.

“From booth committees to the central committee, new leaders will be appointed and everything will be done in a democratic manner,” said BJP spokesperson, Golak Mohapatra.

The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) too is not far behind in pacifying the discontent among several leaders by rehabilitating them in key organizations. Recently, 36 leaders were appointed as chairman of several corporations and now the party wants to reorganize the youth, students and women’s wings. It is believed that party supremo and CM Naveen Patnaik might appoint new leaders for all the party units in a day or two.

“Be it booth committee formation or any other work, BJD is focusing on reorganization which is currently underway,” said BJD MLA, Amar Satpathy.