Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Oct 16:
A day after closed doors talks between Odisha Congress MLAs led by Leader of Opposition (LoP) Narasingha Mishra and AICC Vice President Rahul Gandhi, several leaders of Congress today confessed to factions and dissent inside the party – more so between PCC President Prasad Harichandan and LoP Mishra.
According to reports, the MLAs will meet Congress President Sonia Gandhi to brief her the situation of the party in the state and the hardship they are facing to revive its fortunes. A time for the meeting, however, is yet to be finalised.
Even though neither Mishra nor any of his MLAs took questions from reporters after meeting Gandhi yesterday or revealed what was discussed, Opposition Chief Whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati today said that they had raised organisational matter with Gandhi.
“Yesterday, we met Rahul Gandhi and did discuss Mahanadi issue. Besides, other organisational matters were also taken up. There have been plenty of squabbles in between. We are all working towards a solution,” said Bahinipati without getting into details.
Odisha Unit Vice President Pradeep Majhi also confessed that there have been rifts in the party and was more direct.
“There have been instances of difference in opinion. They have become pretty evident between the PCC President and Leader of Opposition on occasions. Both of them have a huge responsibility on them to bring together all the leaders and carry the party forward in the state. If will be of benefit to the party, if they try to establish better coordination,” said Majhi.
According to reliable sources, the MLAs today met at the house of MP Ranjib Biswal to work out their strategy. A similar meeting was held at the New Delhi residence of former PCC President Niranjan Patnaik yesterday.
It may be mentioned here that collision course between the LoP and PCC Chief is nothing new.
Days after Harichandan visited Gumudumaha along with a team of central Congress leaders to study the Kandhamal firing incident, Mishra led a separate team there. Besides, on the Mahanadi issue, Mishra led a team of MLAs to Chhattisgarh the same day central leader Jayaram Ramesh spoke of the Congress team visit to Chhattisgarh. Further, Harichandan had skipped the all-party meeting convened by Mishra on Mahanadi issue.