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AICC likely to appoint new OPCC chief

Special Correspondent

Many aspirants are camping in New Delhi to influence the party high command's decision


Elections for CWC scheduled to be held on Tuesday

The election was not held in September in view of differences among senior leaders


BHUBANESWAR: The All India Congress Committee is likely to appoint a new president of the Orissa Pradesh Congress Committee soon to replace former Union Minister K.P. Singh Deo who is holding the post at present, highly placed sources in the party said here on Saturday.

As the party's State unit continues to be a divided house since long, the list of probable candidates and aspirants for the PCC president post seems to be quite long with at least a dozen of names.

Many aspirants for the post are already camping in New Delhi to influence the party high command's decision in their favour, sources said.

List of aspirants

The list includes the names of former Union Minister Chandra Sekhar Sahu; former PCC president Jayadeb Jena; Lok Sabha Member from Kalahandi Bhakta Charan Das; Union Minister Srikant Jena; Lok Sabha Member from Sambalpur Amarnath Pradhan; former Minister Niranjan Patnaik; Opposition Chief Whip in the State Assembly Prasad Harichandan; working president of the PCC Lalatendu Bidyadhar Mohapatra; former PCC president Sarat Patnaik; former Minister Nalinikanta Mohanty; former Minister Jagannath Patnaik; and Rajya Sabha Member Ramachandra Khuntia.

The AICC is likely to appoint a new PCC president in Orissa by Monday as elections for the Congress Working Committee is scheduled to be held at its meeting in New Delhi on Tuesday, sources added.

Mr. Singh Deo was appointed as president of the PCC in place of Jayadeb Jena ahead of the simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and State Assembly last year. He, however, was denied a party ticket to contest either of the polls.

Thus, his ouster from the post was expected anytime as the party fared badly in the twin polls.

Resolution

In fact, the PCC had passed a one-line resolution in September this year authorising AICC president Sonia Gandhi to nominate the new president of the party's State unit.

The resolution was passed unanimously at a party meeting that was presided over by party's Pradesh Election Officer Santosh Kumar Bagrodia.

The election for the new PCC president post was not held as per schedule in September in view of the differences among the senior leaders who were aspiring for the post.

Meanwhile, the Congress leaders of the State, who were not in the race for the PCC president post, were hopeful that the high command would appoint a leader as the PCC president who could unite different groups within the party and strengthen the party's base to take on the ruling Biju Janata Dal in an effective manner.

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