Bhubaneswar: At least four out of the 15 Congress MLAs abstained from crucial Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting called by Leader of Opposition (LoP) Narasaingha Mishra at the latter's residence.
The CLP meeting was called to discuss the party's strategy to taken on the ruling BJD in the Assembly in the ensuing Budget Session starting March 20.
Sources said of total 15, only 11 MLAs turned up at the crucial meet.
Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Prasad Harichandan and MLAs Naba Kishore Das, Krushna Sagaria, Kailash Kulesika and Chandrasekhar Majhi were absent in the meeting.
The absence of the four MLAs assumed significance as Jharsuguda MLA Naba Kishore Das, who had been lashing out at BJD Government, heaping praise on the Chief Minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik in a meeting attended by CM to inaugurate Biju Expressway in Jharsuguda and attributing numerous development projects in Jharsuguda to the CM.
Since long the Congress leaders, including a group of party MLAs here have been demanding for the change in OPCC leadership and had met Rahul Gandhi on the issue on several occasions following the party's dismal performance in the last year's panchayat elections. However, infighting among the MLAs has also come to fore on several occasion over change of OPCC leadership.