Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Oct 29:
A day after Odisha In-charge of Congress BK Hariprasad ruled out a change of guard in the state unit, several senior leaders of the party from the dissenting faction met at the house of Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra to work out their future course of action.
At least three top leaders — former PCC President Niranjan Patnaik, Chief Spokesperson Ganeswar Behera and Bhadrak MLA Ananta Prasad Sethi — met Mishra at his residence.
The leaders, however, didn’t reveal what transpired in that meeting.
Questioned by the awaiting reporters, Niranjan Patnaik said, “I came here to wish the Leader of Opposition Happy Dipavali. Please don’t see any politics in it.”
Upon further prodding on the state of affairs of the party and performance of sitting PCC President Prasad Harichandan, he added, “The performance will be known after the examination,” hinting at the upcoming panchayat polls likely to be held in February 2017.
Ganeswar Behera, on the other hand, ruled out any dissent in the party and said there is only “difference in opinion”. He went on to blame the press for fomenting trouble in the party. Ditto was the stand of LoP Mishra.
“We met the Vice President and briefed him about the organisational issues in the party. We did tell him whatever we had to. The high command will take the final decision at the right time. Whatever has to happen will happen in the party forum. No point discussing this in the media,” said Sethi questioned about 16 MLAs meeting Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi few weeks ago.
Meanwhile, back in Odisha after meeting Rahul Gandhi on Thursday and relieved after ensuing support from party bosses, PCC President Prasad Harichandan tried to play down the entire episode.
“The MLAs are a very important part of the party. They can go and meet the Vice President anytime they want. I do not see any conspiracy in it. Besides, if they have any issues with me or if there are any gaps in coordination, I will work towards addressing them,” said Prasad.