Patna: Amid speculation of a split in Congress in Bihar, four of the 27 party MLAs skipped the meeting called by senior leader Jyotiraditya Scindia on Friday in Patna.
Jyotiraditya and JP Aggrawal, sent by the party high command to keep the flock together, faced open criticism from many party leaders in Sadakat Ashram where the meeting was called.
Sarwat Jahan Fatima openly demanded removal of the state unit chief Ashok Chaudhary from the post accusing him of making personal gains and not paying attention to strengthen the party organisation when he was the education minister in the Grand Alliance government.
"The post of a party president is in itself a very strong position and he was made a minister too. But he never ever did anything for the party. We have conveyed to Jyotiraditya that change in leadership is required," he said.
Four MLAs — Awidur Rehman from Araria, Tausif Alam from Bahadurganj, Mohammad Javed from Kishanganj and Abdul Jaleel Mastan from Amaur — skipped the meeting of the legislature party. They all belong to Muslim dominated Seemanchal region.
However Jyotiraditya Scindia played down reports of discontent within the party and claimed all are united against chief minister Nitish Kumar's decision to break the Grand Alliance. He attacked Nitish for siding with the BJP whom he was intended to fight in 2019.
But the chaotic situation was visible in the party office when Ashok Chaudhary and Jyotiraditya started a separate meeting of district office bearers on the first floor leaving around 50 party workers and leaders on the ground floor. They started shouting when their demand of participating in the meeting was ignored.
"If things continue the same way, the party would be finished here," former state vice president of Congress Praveen Kumar quipped.
Congress leaders were also not sure about their future strategy. When a reporter asked Jyotiraditya about continuing alliance with the RJD, he said that the state unit would decide on this. He gave the same reply when asked if Congress will participate in the 27 August rally called by RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav.
On the other hand veteran party leader Sadanand Singh called for 'Ekla Chalo' saying every regional party has ditched congress in the state. Party leaders announced to hold a grand rally in Gandhi Maidan in October this year.
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Updated Date: Aug 11, 2017 19:01:32 IST