Bihar’s Congress in charge’s task cut out amid murmurs of split
- Many Congress leaders believe that the new All India Congress Committee (AICC) in-charge for Bihar, Bhakta Charan Das, will have a difficult time renewing the organisation in the face of factional feuds in the state unit and a fear of split.
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLA Mohammad Zama Khan is all set to join the JD(U) a few days after meeting the ruling party’s former state president and Rajya Sabha member, Vashishtha Narayan Singh, on January 18. Congress legislator from Chenari, Murari Kumar Gautam, had also met Singh the same day.
The Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee (BPCC) chief Madan Mohan Jha, however, does not attach much significance to Murari’s meeting with Singh, saying there was nothing objectionable in such meetings.
A section of Congress leaders, on the other hand, believe that Murari’s meeting with the JD(U) leader could be viewed in the light of growing dissensions in the party. A former MLA Bharat Singh had recently claimed that 11 out of Congress’ 19 MLAs were ready to join the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
Jha, however, strongly denied any fear of a spilt in the party, claiming that only ‘weak’ minds could think about it. Ironically, several Congress MLAs had quit the party and joined the JD(U) just before the assembly elections a couple of months ago.
Many party leaders believed that the new All India Congress Committee (AICC) in-charge for Bihar, Bhakta Charan Das, would have a difficult time revitalising the organisation in the face of factional feuds in the party and a fear of split.
“As many as seven legislators out of the 19 did not turn up at the BPCC office when Das visited it for the first time as the in-charge. There were only four MLAs, who took part in the Raj Bhawan march, taken out in support of agitating farmers on January 15, despite instructions from Das,” said a leader, who didn’t wish to be named.
Many senior Congress leaders like former Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar and former governor Nikhil Kumar hardly visit Sadaquat Ashram—the BPCC headquarter—even on important occasions. Former BPCC presidents Anil Sharma and Chandan Bagchi are often in news for their reservations.
Senior leader and AICC member Kishore Kumar Jha said that the appointment of Das had bolstered the workers’ hope for the organisation’s rejuvenation.
“Only elected leaders don’t make the organisation. Senior leaders, who couldn’t get a chance to fight election or failed in electoral politics, shall also be given due importance for their role in strengthening the party’s roots. Trusted leaders with credentials shall also be recognised and used in the organisation,” said Jha.
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Referring to the district level programme being undertaken by Das, another party veteran said it would have been better if the AICC in charge opted to work with a new team. “Continuing with the old set of leaders, whose inefficiency led to reduction of the party’s tally in the assembly, would not help,” he added.
The AICC in-charge has proposed to undertake padyatra in several districts, including Vaishali, Muzaffarpur, Chapra, Siwan, East and West Champaran, Ara, Buxar, Gaya, Jehanabad, Arwal, etc, during his 12-day stay in the state. Das is arriving in Patna on January 25 and will launch his campaign from January 27 after presiding over the Republic Day celebrations in the BPCC office. He would wind up his first campaign in the state on February 6.
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