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Narasingha’s second meeting with Rahul raises eyebrows

leader of opposition narasingha mishra rubbishes rumours of resignation

Bhubaneswar: Leader of opposition Narasingha Mishra met Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Monday, second time since Saturday’s meeting, in Delhi, creating flutter within the state leadership. Though Narasingha parried when asked about the purpose of meeting Rahul for the second time, talks are doing the round that he revolted against the party’s state leadership during the meet.

Narasingha even dismissed rumours about his resignation. “I have not tendered my resignation as reported in a vernacular daily. We will camp in Delhi for some more days to meet Sonia Gandhi,” Narasingha told media persons in Delhi. Earlier in the day, Sonia’s close aide Vincent George discussed with Mishra and 15 other MLAs, who are apparently harping on a change of guard in the state. The MLAs also had a meeting with senior party leader Ahmed Patel.

Narasingha dodged queries about suspected infighting and revolt against party state president Prasad Harichandan. “His silence is harmful. Panchayat elections are due in February next year. But there is a buzz in the air that the party is divided. Different leaders are airing different opinions in media. It will adversely affect the morale of the dedicated party workers ahead of rural polls,” said a Congress insider.

Though Narasingha had earlier told the media that he along with the 15 MLAs will meet Rahul on Mahanadi water issue on Saturday, speculation, however, is rife the meeting was more to sort out internal differences in the state unit. Prasad Harichandan’s absence in Rahul’s meeting lent credence to the rumours.

The 16 MLAs, led by leader of opposition Narasingha Mishra, had met President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday and sought his intervention to resolve the dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh over the sharing of Mahanadi water. Though the party maintained the meeting with Rahul was held to brief him about the discussion the members had with the President on the Mahanadi issue, insiders said the focus of the discussion was the affairs of the state Congress.

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