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My ouster unfortunate and insulting: Sacked Bihar Congress chief Ashok Choudhary

Ashok Choudhary said that he came to know about his ouster from media reports.

patna Updated: Sep 27, 2017 14:50 IST
Subhash Pathak
Subhash Pathak
Hindustan Times, Patna
Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee,Bihar,Congress
Suspended Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee (BPCC) president Ashok Choudhary addressing a press conference in Patna on Wednesday. (PTI)

Sacked Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee (BPCC) chief Ashok Choudhary on Wednesday alleged a design in his “unceremonious ouster” from the party post and hit out at All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary CP Joshi for misleading the party high command about the party’s affairs in the state.

Talking to mediapersons a day after he was removed as the BPCC chief, Choudhary said he felt insulted by the way he was treated by the party. “The unceremonious ouster of a Dalit person, whose two generations have worked for the growth of Congress, is unfortunate and insulting,” Choudhary said.

The former party chief, however, thanked the AICC top brasses, particularly vice president Rahul Gandhi, for allowing him to work as the state party chief for four and half years. “I welcome the decision of the party but I don’t deserve the way I was insulted and removed from the post. I was willing to offer my resignation,” he said in a choked voice, adding that he would meet the party high command after Dussehra.

On the instruction of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, AICC general secretary Janardan Dwivedi on Tuesday relieved Choudhary from the post of BPCC chief and dissolved the entire committee. Vice president of erstwhile committee Kaukab Quadri was appointed as officiating chief of the state unit. Quadri assumed charge on Wednesday.

Claiming that he was one of the most successful chiefs of the party’s Bihar unit in the last 17 years, Choudhary said it was during his tenure that the number of Congress MLAs had increased from four to 27. “I also undertook padyatra of the state to connect with the people. Two generations of my family had been tirelessly working to strengthen the party since 1952,” he said.

Choudhary’s father Mahavir Choudhary was an eight-term MLA and also served as a minister in the Congress governments in Bihar.

Training guns on Joshi, Choudhary alleged that party’s state in-charge did not even have the courtesy to inform him “officially” of the high command’s decision. “I came to know about my ouster from media reports,” he said, while terming his removal as an “insult to the Dalit community,” which was being honoured by Rahul Gandhi elsewhere by having lunch with families.

“Joshi had been putting pressure on me to quit as he wanted to make a particular person as the state Congress chief. The party lost elections in Assam, Manipur and West Bengal because of his inefficiency and complacency. Joshi was hardly visible in Bihar during the elections. He is now bent upon weakening the party in Bihar,” Choudhary said, adding he would continue to serve the party as a solider and struggle for its betterment.

Rubbishing talks about his move to desert the party as a conspiracy hatched up by Joshi along with a section of the state Congress leaders, Choudhary claimed the entire story was planted in the AICC in connivance with leaders of other parties to malign his integrity and commitment towards the party. “I am not going anywhere, even though I had a good relationship with chief minister Nitish Kumar,” added Choudhary.

Choudhary also wondered how Quadri, who had almost quit the party on the apprehension of being denied a ticket in the last assembly polls, was selected when there were many senior leaders, including MLAs and MLCs, who could be offered the charge of ad-hoc president.

Refraining from commenting on electoral tie-up for the next polls, Choudhary said he had been insisting on preparing the party to contest all the seats instead of becoming a pillion rider of the coalition party. “It was a better strategy for the Congress to gains its lost glory. Additionally, it would have also put the party in better bargaining position with allies at the time of polling,” he said.

First Published: Sep 27, 2017 14:50 IST