Former minister and trade union leader Chandrashekhar Dubey has vowed to wipe out the Congress in the state after the party denied him a ticket, prompting him to switch sides and turn a Trinamool candidate from Dhanbad for the Lok Sabha polls.
The denial of ticket to Dubey has led to a churning in the Congress with large number of his followers including senior leaders planning to join him in the Trinamool.
The Congress high command has named Ajay Dubey for the Dhanbad seat.
“I will ensure the total rout of Congress inn Jharkhand. The Congress would not open its account in the state,” said Dubey, a firebrand leader fondly called Dadai by his followers.
Dubey kickstarted his campaign from Bokaro on Tuesday morning.
The Congress is said to be trying to replace field another Brahmin candidate in Dhanbad to soothe the frayed nerves of the community.
Sources close to Dubey said that a large number of Congress workers apart from leaders loyal to the leader have made up their mind to join the TMC.
Besides, coal and steel sectors workers owing allegiance to the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) are also sore over the “humiliation” meted out to their leader.
Dubey is the national president of a faction of the INTUC and commands respect among the workers for his “fighter” image, at least across Jharkhand.
“Dadai Dubey continues to be our leader even if he has resigned from the Congress and joined the TMC. We will go with him against official Congress candidate in Dhanbad”, said a senior trade union leader of Bharat Coking Coal Limited requesting anonymity.
Everything will be clear within the next couple of the days, he said.
On Monday, hundreds of Congress workers and office-bearers of Bishrampur assembly constituency in Palamu district of Jharkhand — represented by Dadai — resigned and sided with Dubey pledging their support to the TMC in Jharkhand.
“A Bishrampur-like situation is building up in Dhanbad where the party men are a disappointed lot after the change of candidate,” said another party leader but refused to be quoted.
These disgruntled lot in the Congress would join Dubey either on Wednesday or the day after, according to the poll managers of the TMC nominee.