Turmoil in Bihar Congress worsens as 17 leaders join ruling JD(U); Congress plans to lodge FIRs against some
In signs of the crisis within the Opposition Congress in Bihar worsening, 17 of its leaders owing allegiance to former state unit chief Ashok Chaudhary followed his footsteps into the ruling JD(U) .
PATNA: In signs of the crisis within the Opposition Congress in Bihar worsening, 17 of its leaders owing allegiance to former state unit chief Ashok Chaudhary followed his footsteps into the ruling JD(U) on Sunday.
The seventeen leaders were formally administered membership of JD(U) by Chaudhary, who had joined the party led by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar three days ago along with three other MLCs. An elated Chaudhary said “many more” Congress leaders in the state would soon join the regional party to strengthen “Kumar’s hands”.
Saurabh Nidhi and Vidyanand Singh, presidents of Congress’ district units of Munger and Muzaffarpur respectively; state unit secretary Ashok Chaudhary, former state spokesperson Randhir Dhari and state IT cell chief Shehzad Khan were among those who joined JD(U) on Sunday. Eight of the 17 leaders were expelled by state Congress working president Kaukab Quadri on Saturday night for alleged anti-party activities.
“Many more Congress leaders, capable people who had been the mind and muscles of the party in the state all these years, are going to join JD(U) in the coming days,” said MLC Ashok Chaudhary, who, along with three other MLCs – Dilip Chaudhary, Tanvir Akhtar and Ramchandra Bharti – were formally inducted into JD(U) by Nitish Kumar himself on Thursday.
Quadri, who paid a visit to RJD leader and former chief minister Rabri Devi at her residence, said the departure of these Congress leaders would not harm the party in any way. Some of these leaders, he said, were working against the interests of Congress and were even present at a news conference addressed by Chaudhary when he announced his plans to quit the party.
“Vidyanand Singh has siphoned off party funds between Rs 25 lakh and Rs 50 lakh in Muzaffarpur. We have got the details of his activities and we are going to lodge an FIR against him and some others,” said Quadri.
Both Congress and RJD, contesting the upcoming bypolls for Araria Lok Sabha seat and the Assembly seats of Jehanabad and Bhabhua in alliance, are going to start a joint campaign in the next few days, he added.