Engaging in a damage control exercise, the OPPC president Prasad Harichandan flanked by 13 MLAs, 12 of whom had gone to Delhi recently triggering speculations of a rift, held a press conference and denied all such reports terming them as baseless and misleading.

Contrary to the fact that the 12 legislators had met AICC general secretary in charge of Odisha BK Hariprasad at Delhi last week and aired their grievances, the OPCC president said there was no rift and the Congress was united in the state.

The media had reported extensively on one of the 12 MLAs had demanded the ouster of the chief whip of the legislative party Taraprasad Bahinipati, while a few others had complained that they were not consulted in formation of district level committees.

Significantly, while all the 12 as well as Leader of Opposition Mr Narasingha Mishra were present at the press conference, not one of them uttered a word leaving OPCC chief Harichandan to face the barrage of questions from the media.

Harichandan said the week-long speculations in the media were misleading, the party is united.

The MLAs had gone to Delhi, paid a curtsey call on AICC president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi, claimed the OPCC chief. He went on to add that they did discuss matters relating to strengthening of the organization with AICC general secretary in charge of Odisha B K Hariprasad.

Prior to the press meet, the OPCC chief held a meeting with the 12 MLAs.