Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, Dec 17:
With the infighting in state Congress is growing louder by the day after the humiliating defeat in the recently concluded urban local body (ULB) polls and disappointed Congress workers seeking the ouster of PCC president Jayadev Jena, AICC general secretary in charge of the Odisha unit of the party, BK Hariprasad maintained a stoic silence over the question of a change of guard in the PCC.
When prodded by reporters, Hariprasad in a diplomatic reply said the party will fight the 2014 elections under the leadership of the PCC. The fact that he did not repeat his earlier statement that the state unit will fight the election under the leadership of Jayadev Jena assumes significance in view of speculations that the AICC is all set to change the PCC chiefs in at least seven states, including Odisha.
“The party will fight under the leadership of PCC,” said Hariprasad while replying to a question about who will lead the party in the 2014 elections. He also refused to name anybody as the chief ministerial candidate or the face of the party in the electioneering process.
Hariprasad was in the city to take a meeting of block and district Congress presidents to exhort them to propagate the message of different welfare schemes of the UPA government and also to chalk out a strategy to counter the Naveen Patnaik led BJD government ahead of the elections.
Interestingly, Hariprasad told the block and district presidents that they will have to accept Jayadev Jena as their leader because the high command had chosen him. They were asked to suggest names of at least 3 candidates for the 2014 elections from their respective areas within seven days.
It is to be noted that the dismal show of Congress under the leadership of Jayadev Jena in both rounds of the ULB polls has fanned discontent among the party rank and file while providing ammunition to the dissidents.
Besides, some leaders are blaming the party leadership for not taking up issues against BJD government effectively in the assembly and allowing the ruling party to run the show purely on the force of its brute majority.