All India Congress Committee today appointed Jayadev Jena appointed as new Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee president. Niranjan Patnaik replaced by Jayadev Jena as new Odisha PCC president.
It is learnt that the party high command favoured of Mr. Jena to lead the party in the upcoming polls as the party wanted to attract the Dalits, who constituted 17 per cent of the total population of the State. It should be noted that Mr. Jena was earlier PCC Chief from 2003 to 2008. He is also Secretary in AICC. Mr. Jena also in charge of party affairs in Assam and Uttar Pradesh.
It may be noted that speculation of Niranjan being on his way out got strengthened in February, when Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi during a visit to Odisha set a three-month deadline to set party affairs in order in the state. On April 27, Kalahandi MP Bhakta Charan Das along with Union minister Srikant Jena, AICC secretary Jayadev Jena and L B Mohapatra had met Rahul in New Delhi. Jayadev had then said, “Rahulji told us that the party’s organizational matters in the state will be sorted out very soon.”
The quartet had on March 25 also met Rahul and discussed ways in which the party organization could be strengthened in the state. Subsequently, they had submitted a joint memorandum on ways to revive the party’s fortunes in Odisha.