Odisha Sun Times Bureau
New Delhi, Dec 13:
Amid speculation of a leadership change in the PCC, 13 Congress leaders, including seven MLAs, of Odisha met AICC Vice President Rahul Gandhi here on Friday evening.
Leader of Opposition in Odisha Assembly Narasingha Mishra, party chief whip in th Assembly Taraprasad Bahinipati and MLA Chandra Sekhar Majhi were, however, missing from the delegation.
In an hour-long meeting with the Congress Vice President, the leaders discussed the current position of the party in the state and sought his guidance to revitalize the party in the state.
The chit fund scam in the state figured prominently in the meeting. The MLAs discussed the involvement of BJD MLAs, MPs and leaders in the scam with Gandhi and wanted his suggestions on using this as a centrepiece of their attack on the ruling party of Odisha.
The MLAs requested Gandhi to call all the top Congress leaders from the state and hold a meeting to discuss the way forward. “If Congress misses this opportunity against BJD in Odisha, the prospects of the party will diminish forever,” said Naba Das, a member of the delegation that met Gandhi, speaking to OST.
“We discussed the possibility of a change of guard in the state with Rahul Ji. However, we haven’t recommended a specific name to lead the party in the state. The vice president has assured us to take a call when the time is right,” he added.
Chiranjib Biswal, the leader of the visiting MLAs, however, tried to play safe. Speaking to the media, Biswal said, “We are not here to discuss leadership change. We just wanted to take suggestions from the central leadership to reorganize the Congress so that we can put up a good fight against ruling BJD in the state.”
The visiting MLAs met in Odisha House of Delhi on Friday morning to finalize the agenda of discussion, following which they met senior leader and AICC General Secretary Digvijay Singh and Ahmed Patel at the central hall of Parliament in the afternoon. Also, they have sought time to meet President of India Pranab Mukherjee and AICC President Sonia Gandhion on Saturday.