Bhubaneswar: The State Congress, which seemed to have overcome the infighting over ouster of incumbent Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) Prasad Harichandan, is back to square one now as the reported non-acceptance of Harichandan’s resignation by AICC president Rahul Gandhi is still doubted by many in the party.
Senior Congress leader Sarat Rout on Sunday questioned the OPCC Disciplinary Committee chairperson Sandhya Rani Mohapatra, who had on Saturday told media that Gandhi turned down Harichandan’s resignation and he would continue in the post till the next general election scheduled in 2019, that who gave the latter the authority to make such an announcement.
“Who will continue as the OPCC chief and for what tenure will be decided by Rahul ji, who is Mohapatra to comment on,” wondered Rout.
“Who has given her the authority to make such a statement,” questioned Rout.
Reacting promptly, Mohapatra said the AICC has given her the authority to make such statements.
“I am the chairperson of OPCC Discipline Committee. As the chairperson I will look after the discipline within the party and those who disobey the party guidelines will have to face action according to the committee,” said Mohapatra.
Mohapatra had on Saturday said that with the general election just eight to nine months left, Gandhi did not accept the resignation of Harichandan as it will not be possible for a new OPCC president to deal with the election situation within the short period.
Notably, Harichandan had sent his resignation letter to Gandhi after the Congress candidate Pranay Sahu’s crushing defeat in the Bijepur by-elections, the result of which were declared on February 28.
The defeat was so unprecedented that Sahu lost his security deposit for failing to bag one sixth of total valid votes polled on February 24.