Fissures within the Congress were bared afresh on Tuesday when a group of workers reportedly clashed with party vice-president Manak Agarwal at the state Congress headquarters here over the issue of tickets for the civic body elections.
Police had to be called in to control the situation, although no major injuries were reported. Some received scratches but seemed to downplay it. Immediately after the incident, Agarwal told reporters those behind the attack were supporters of former minister Suresh Pachouri, a leader he is reported to have been at odds with over the matter of candidate selections.
But he later said the attackers were 'RSS goons'. "They were 8-10 in number and barged into the room. One of them banged his fist on the table in front of me, and there was a scuffle with those in the room," he said. Party sources said the intruders were Congress workers dissatisfied over ticket allotments.
A Congress worker -- wanting not to be named since he was not authorised to speak on the matter — said that a local Congress leader from Hoshangabad, who was seeking ticket for his mother, had arrived with his supporters and was responsible for the scuffle.
After the incident, policemen were deployed at the PCC office as a precautionary measure. Agarwal had earlier in the day threatened to resign, according to insiders, if "deserving candidates" in Hoshangabad-Itarsi were not pitched.
Sources said he alleged tickets were being given on Pachouri's recommendation and he had opposed it. PCC chief Arun Yadav intervened and mollified Agarwal. But the scuffle a few hours later made it evident that the matter was not rested. The party had been delaying official announcement of tickets to ward off such situations.