Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 25:
Although the AICC is yet to make up its mind on who would lead the small 16-member Congress Legislature Party (CLP) and assume the role of the Leader of Opposition in the Odisha Assembly, an overwhelming number of MLAs want party’s media cell chief Narasingha Mishra to lead the team, reliable sources told OST.
Senior Congress MLA Taraprasad Bahinipati reportedly told the gathering that there can not be a better CLP leader than Mishra, who not only commands respect from all in the House but is also known for his expertise in legal and constitutional matters.
The meeting was attended by Nabakishore Das, Chiranjib Biswal, Dr Prafulla Majhi, Subal Sahu, Yogesh Singh and Prakash Behera among others.
Chranjib Biswal, whose name was in circulation for a while, has dismissed reports that he was trying to occupy the position with active help from the PCC president Jayadev Jena.
“I was never in the race, nor am I eyeing the post,” he told media persons after the informal meeting.
The final decision, as always, would come from the Congress high command, sources said, adding, the AICC general secretary in charge of Odisha unit BK Hariprasad or another observer will be sent to Bhubaneswar to finalise the name of the CLP leader very soon.
There are reports that like the BJD camp, the ‘Jena brigade’ is not comfortable with the idea of Mishra becoming the Leader of Opposition. They are reportedly trying to mask their opposition to the veteran leader by saying, the older ones in the party need to allow space to the young and emerging leaders.
However, with as many as many as 14 MLAs openly rallying behind Mishra, it is unlikely that the central leadership would risk proposing any name other than Narasingha Mishra for the post, the sources added.