Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Nov 22:
A day after district unit presidents of Odisha Congress held a preparatory meeting for upcoming panchayat polls under leadership of PCC President Prasad Harichandan, the sitting MLAs of the state unit today held a separate meeting for the same cause led by Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra.
As many as 14 out of 16 MLAs of the party attended the meeting held this evening at Mishra’s residence to which Harichandan was not invited.
Even though, earlier in the day, Opposition Chief Whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati tried to play down the meeting and said that the meeting will “discuss strategy for upcoming Assembly session” and that the “presence of PCC President is not required in a CLP meeting”, Mishra made it clear that the legislators discussed panchayat polls speaking to reporters after the meeting.
Making matters worse, Mishra did not even mention Prasad while discussing the strategy of MLAs during panchayat polls and instead said that the MLAs will hit the campaign trail under leadership of Sonia Gandhi.
“The Congress Legislature party held a meeting today to discuss the upcoming panchayat polls. The Panchayat Election Committee — formed by PCC and approved by AICC — will have a separate meeting of its own at a later stage. These meetings will continue in coming days to work out a strategy for panchayat polls to ensure a Congress victory. We will fight the polls under the leadership of Congress party and Sonia Gandhi,” said Mishra.