Tytler replaced; BK Hariprasad new AICC gen secy for Odisha

Bhubaneswar: The combative Jagdish Tytler, after steering the rudderless Congress ship in Odisha for nearly 28 months through choppy waters, has been replaced by the indefatigable BK Hariprasad, the 59-year-old former Rajya Sabha MP from Karnataka. For Tytler, it appears to be a double blow as he has also made an unceremonious exit as a member of Congress Working Committee.
 
The raison d’etre of Tytler’s removal as Odisha in-charge may not have been proffered officially, but the exit cannot be ascribed solely to performance issues. His 28-month stint in guiding the Congress organization in Odisha cannot be written off as completely lacklustre. He scripted several changes to revive the party and teamed up with Niranjan Patnaik to take the battle into the BJD camp. After Niranjan was replaced by Jayadev Jena as the PCC president, the writing was there on the wall for Tytler and some extraneous factors may have hastened his exit both as the AICC in-charge of Odisha and as a CWC member.
 
The legal problems dogging Tytler over his alleged role in 1984 anti-Sikh riots and a recent case lodged against him by the FBI in the US may have contributed to his fall from grace. Tytler has always denied inciting the mob in 1984 riots. He has also refuted all allegations against him after reports were published on his alleged involvement with Abhishek Verma which prompted the FBI to lodge a case recently.
 
While Tytler succeeded in infusing new ideas and new aggression to revive the moribund Congress in Odisha, he could not cement the cracks within the state unit completely. Tytler’s deft manoeuvring skills failed to yield the results as a section of influential and younger leaders in the party remained aloof from the party programmes. It’s difficult to surmise with certainty whether Tytler tried assiduously to bridge the chasm with this estranged group within the party or he remained impervious to address their concerns.
 
The September 6 rally hosted by Congress in Bhubaneswar catapulted Tytler in fresh controversy as a woman cop was attacked by party workers. It was alleged that Tytler incited the party workers to indulge in lawless activities, a charge which was vehemently denied by the Delhi strongman umpteen times in recent past. The jury is still out on Tytler’s role in reviving the Odisha Congress. But Tytler has perhaps left behind a disputed legacy which his successor may find too problematic to resolve within a short span of time. As 2014 polls are approaching fast, Hariprasad has little time left to deliver the results.