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Amid Infighting, Bihar Congress Chief Ashok Choudhary Removed from Post

File photo of  Ashok Choudhary.

File photo of Ashok Choudhary.

In a recent outburst, Ashok Choudhary had also accused a section within the party of maligning his name for brewing a rebellion within the Bihar unit. The Congress has 27 MLAs in the 243-member Bihar Assembly.

Patna: Amid infighting and talks of split in the Bihar unit of the Congress, party president Sonia Gandhi removed state chief Ashok Chaudhary from his post on Tuesday.

Gandhi also dissolved the state congress committee. Kaukab Qadri has been appointed acting president.

CP Joshi, In charge of party affairs in the state, told News18 that a full-time president would be elected with organisational elections in November.

When asked about the reason for change barely a month before scheduled elections, He said, "There must have been some reasons behind this. I will not comment further but have confidence that Qadri will steer the party very well till the next elections."

Before his elevation, Qadri was vice president in the state unit and he is considered very close to Akhilesh Singh, who belongs to the rival camp of Ashok Chaudhary. Singh and others had reportedly complained to the party high command about functioning style of Chaudhary.

Senior Congress leader Prem Chandra Mishra and party spokesman VK Thakur welcomed the decision taken by the party high command and hoped the party will strive to gain the lost ground in Bihar under the new leadership.

Chaudhary, who is close to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, allegedly took signatures of a few party legislatures to effect a split in the party but he was not able to garner the enough support from MLAs to defy the anti-defection law. Congress has 27 MLAs in the Bihar assembly.

Alerted, the high command summoned all party MLAs to Delhi where vice president Rahul Gandhi himself held one on one meeting with them. Ashok Chaudhary abstained from that interaction and adopting a defiant stance alleged that some senior leaders of the AICC were engineering split in the party and conspiring against him.

Now when a decision of his removal has been taken, Ashok Chuadhary might take a final call on leaving the party as he has been indicating to News18. When contacted, his office informed that he would announce his next of course of action tomorrow.
first published:September 26, 2017, 20:42 IST