Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, June 11 :
Senior party leader and former Law Minister Narasingh Mishra was today formally declared elected unanimously as the leader of the 16-member Congress Legislature Party (CLP) in the Odisha Assembly.
AICC observer and former Union minister Ajay Maken made the announcement at the Congress Bhawan here.
Mishra’s name was proposed by Chiranjib Biswal and seconded by Bhujabal Majhi and Krushna Sagaria, Maken said.
“At the meeting held this morning, it was unanimously decided by all the party leaders and legislators to leave it to the Congress president Sonia Gandhi to decide the CLP leader of the State Assembly. Later I and Hariprasad met each of the party legislators independently to know about the leader of their choice. After we sent the report on the opinion of the members to the Congress president, the latter, in her reply, asked me to seek the unanimous decision of the legislator, Maken said.
He said the OPCC president Jayadev Jena would inform the secretary of the State Assembly about the election of Mishra as the CLP leader.
Describing the election of Mishra a good beginning for our party, Maken hoped that the CLP under the leadership of Mishra would play a constructive role of the Opposition in the State Assembly.
The belated announcement by the party observer from Delhi Ajay Maken and AICC general secretary BK Hariprasad came nearly four hours after the formal CLP meeting to elect the leader took place at the state Assembly.
It is unclear why the party observers took so long to name Mishra, the clear front-runner, as the CLP leader.
Narasingh Mishra was tipped to be elected unopposed because an overwhelming majority of party MLAs were in his favour. Chiranjib Biswal, too, on his part had said he is not in the race. However, the fact that the two central leaders made a heavy weather of a simple exercise indicates they had to seek the consent of the party president Sonia Gandhi before naming the CLP leader.
Earlier in the day, the two leaders met with all the 16 Congress legislators individually to seek their opinion about who should be the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader.