Leadership Change in Odisha Congress Likely Today

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Bhubaneswar, Dec 15: Despite OPCC president Jaydev Jena's explanation over the rift within the party in Odisha, the change in leadership is likely in the state. He may lose his post as the AICC president Sonia Gandhi is likely to announce a new name today.

Four names are doing the rounds in media to be the successor of Jaydev Jena. Former chief whip of the Congress in the last Odisha Assembly Prasad Harichandan, former MP from Nabarangpur Pradeep Majhi,  MLA and party state treasurer Chiranjib Biswal and former minister and OPCC president Niranjan Patnaik are in the race for the post who can revive the party in the state after the poor performance in the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections held this year.

Among the four, Harichandan and Pradeep Majhi are said to be the front runners. However, the name will be announced after getting final nod from Sonia Gandhi.

The possibility for the leadership change came to light after Congress leader and party's deputy in-charge in Odisha Subhankar Sarkar hinted at new leadership under which the party will move forward in the state. Talking to a local news channel, he said that the party leadership is looking at youth to revive the fortune of the party in the state as well as in the country.

Earlier, Jaydev Jena had rubbished the reports of the meeting between the state Congress leaders and the party's high command in New Delhi. Thirteen leaders from the state unit, including seven MLAs, had met AICC vice president Rahul Gandhi on Friday seeking leadership change in the state. Jena, however, denied the report saying no groupism or lobbying could work in the party and the final decision will be taken by the party cheif Sonia Gandhi.

Earlier in the week, senior congress leaders had attended a meeting called "Bandhu Milan" convened by former chief minister Hemananda Biswal to raise voice against Jena. It can be noted the the return of Janaki Ballav Patnaik to Odisha after completing his tenure as the Governor of Assam gave much courage to the leaders to think about the future of the political party in the state.

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