Rahul still reposes faith on Prasad

Bhubaneswar: Congress president Rahul Gandhi rejected the resignation of Congress state president Prasad Harichandan that the latter had offered taking moral responsibility of the party’s humiliating debacle in the recently concluded Bijepur assembly by-polls.

Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) discipline committee Chairperson Sandhya Rani Mohapatra on Saturday informed that now there is no question of change of guard in the OPCC till 2019.

“There is no question of change in the OPCC chief post till 2019. With the general elections just eight months left, the change of guard will only create difficulties for the new president to reorganise the party in State,” said Mohapatra.

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.

Harichandan, who took the party’s command in the State in December, 2014 had been facing revolts from the party members, mostly MLAs since a long.

The faction came to the fore on July 20, 2015 when 12 MLAs out of total 16 (which was reduced to 15 following demise of Bijepur MLA Subal Sahu last year) met Gandhi in Delhi and expressed their displeasure against Harichandan’s leadership.

However, the tirade against him gained momentum after the party faced humiliating defeat in the panchayat elections, held in February, 2017 last year.

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