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Ashok Choudhary removed as Bihar Congress chief

Vice president of Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee Kaukab Quadri was named as officiating state unit president.

patna Updated: Sep 26, 2017 21:56 IST
Subhash Pathak/HTC
Subhash Pathak/HTC
Hindustan Times, Patna
Ashok Choudhary,Bihar Congress chief,Bihar Congress
BPCC chief Ashok Choudhary (HT File Photo)

Ending a long spell of uncertainty, the Congress high command on Tuesday removed Ashok Choudhary as president of Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee (BPCC) and dissolved all its committees to pave the way for a belated change of guard.

“Congress President Sonia Gandhi has relieved Ashok Choudhary from the post of Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee chief with immediate effect,” AICC general secretary Janardan Dwivedi said.

“Kaukab Quadri, vice president of Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee will discharge as president of Bihar PCC till the appointment of a regular PCC chief,” said AICC general secretary incharge for Bihar C P Joshi.

Recently, Choudhary had also asked the AICC bosses to clear their stand whether to keep him on the post or remove him.

The removal comes amid reports that the party high command was unhappy with him and leaders of his faction when they had allegedly made an abortive bid to split the party after Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal (United) walked out of the Grand Alliance (GA) and formed the government with the BJP-led coalition in the state.

As many as 14 MLAs and a few MLCs were said to be in the mood of rebellion and wanted to desert the party en-mass, which prompted the party high command to send senior leaders including Jyotiraditya Scindia to foil the bid. Later they were also called in by AICC chief Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi in Delhi at separate occasions to explain on their reported bid to desert the party.

Sources in the AICC said the new president might be named soon after Rahul Gandhi returned to New Delhi after his ongoing phase of Gujarat tour. Even otherwise, the new committee would be in place by October 15, as per the schedule of ongoing organisational polls.

Buoyed by the development, some senior leaders have intensified lobbying in the AICC to bolster their chance of being nominated as Choudhary’s successor. Those in the race for the party chief’s post include Akhilesh Prasad Singh, Prem Chandra Mishra, Anil Sharma and Madan Mohan Jha.

Choudhary, who was made the BPCC chief on March 30, 2013, was the longest serving president of the state Congress and the education minister in the GA government led by Nitish Kumar. Party leaders said Choudhary’s ouster was imminent, as he was said to be leading the faction of leaders ready to defect the party.

(with inputs from agencies)

First Published: Sep 26, 2017 21:54 IST