The Congress on Friday rehabilitated former Union Minister Jagdish Tytler by making him in charge of Bihar and setting him the challenging task of reviving the party ahead of next year’s assembly polls.
Bihar is next on the radar after the party won 21 Lok Sabha seats in UP by going it alone. A section in the party believes that if the Congress has to grow in Bihar, it should keep its distance from the RJD.
Tytler’s appointment fills the vacancy caused Iqbal Singh’s elevation as Lt Governor of Puducherry and sets the stage for his inclusion into the Congress Working Committee.
Tytler had lost his nomination for the 2009 Lok Sabha polls when a journalist, in protest over his role in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, hurled a shoe at Home Minister P. Chidambaram, raising fears about the alienation of Sikh votes.
Earlier, during the UPA’s first tenure, Tytler had to quit the ministry in August 2005 following his indictment by the Nanavati Commission looking into the anti-Sikh riots.
But unlike neighbouring Jharkhand, which has a sizeable Sikh population in over half-a-dozen districts, in Bihar this community is concentrated mainly in Patna.