Odisha congress MLAs demand change in state party president, legislature party leader

Bhubaneswar, April 19 : Senior Congress leader and Jeypore MLA Tara Prasad Bahinipati on Tuesday demanded a change in the Pradesh Congress Committee President post while another MLA Santosh Singh Saluja favoured a change in the legislature party leader. Bahinipati told newsmen here on Tuesday that he would request the Congress High Command to appoint a sitting MLA as the President of the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee. He said present PCC President Niranjan Patnaik is not interested to continue in the post. Bahinipati said all the nine MLAs of the party would rally behind the new President to show their strength if the new party President is made from among the MLAs. Bahinipati said he would not accept the post of Party working President Post if it is offered to him. However, he said, the party MLAs would show their discontentment and may not contest the coming elections if the high command did not accept his suggestion. Bahinipati however, ruled out the possibility of leaving the party and joining any other party. Khariar Congress MLA Adhiraj Panigrahi said,” we will accept whatever the party high command decides but it is better if one of the MLAs is selected as the new party President.” He said Niranjan Patnaik has already resigned from the post in 2019 and his resignation should be accepted by the High Command and a new President should be appointed at the earliest. Santosh Singh Saluja, the Congress MLA from Kantabanji said ”we will accept the decision of the party high command on the appointment of a new party president. He, however, demanded that along with the PCC chief, the Congress Legislature Party leader should also be changed. There is a growing demand for a change of guard in Odisha State Congress after its dismal performance in the recently concluded Panchayat and Urban local body elections in the state. BD DP ARN

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