Dissent in Bihar Congressional unity comes to light
The fissures in the Congress party in Bihar have widened further after its debacle in the recently concluded assembly elections.
Dissent is mounting against the best in the Bihar Pradesh Congressional Committee (BPCC) and the All India Congressional Committee (AICC) in charge. Now they are blamed for the party’s poor performance after it won just 19 of the 70 seats it contested, eight fewer than its tally in 2015, in Bihar’s 243-member assembly.
Raj Kumar Sharma, the national coordinator of the All India Kisan Congress, held a sit-in on Sunday at the Sadaqat Ashram, the state seat of Congress, demanding a complete renewal of the BPCC.
His followers also cry out for the blood of Shaktisinh Gohil, head of the Bihar Congress, the secretaries in charge Ajay Kapoor and Birender Singh Rathore, appointed by the AICC for the assembly elections. Also in the line of fire are the head of BPCC, Madan Mohan Jha, the chairman of its campaign committee, Akhilesh Singh, and the party leader of the Congressional legislature, Sadanand Singh, all of whom were instrumental in the distribution of entries to candidates.
“I only have two demands. First, eliminate the nearly a dozen ticket brokers, who sold our match tickets to the candidates. Second, to renew Congress and to have grassroots workers and party loyalists in its core group for more than two decades, ”said Sharma, who is leading the revolt.
Sharma does not beat around the bush when he says “ticket dalaals” (ticket brokers) in his party “sold” the party symbol to the candidates.
“Our leaders who had a say in the distribution of tickets surreptitiously worked for the BJP and RSS. They sold tickets at a high price and favored the BJP, ”he said.
“There were at least 26 candidates who did not get tickets from the constituencies of their choice. For example, Praveen Kushwaha, who wanted a ticket from Bhagalpur, was made to compete in the Patna Sahib assembly constituency in Patna. Gunjan Patel, who wanted to compete from Digha, received an entry from Nalanda. Kundan Gupta of Lakhisarai was asked to participate in Harnaut in Nalanda. Sanjeev Kumar Singh received a ticket from Vaishali when he wanted one from Muzaffarpur. Pappu Singh received a ticket to compete from Lalganj when he was interested in Aurangabad, ”he added.
BPCC President Madan Mohan Jha was not available for comment. He had forwarded his calls to a number that was cut off Sunday night.
Cong spokesman Harkhu Jha demanded a complete renovation, saying that Gohil was responsible for the bad spectacle of Congress.
“The unrest within Congress is due to the faulty distribution of tickets and the decisions made by Bihar in charge of AICC. The party should change the entire structure of the leaders, who are responsible for the debacle of the Congress in Bihar, ”he added.
The dissent within Congress began in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections itself, when many candidates who had switched allegiance received match tickets at the last minute.
Some leaders, including Jha, had written to the high command of Congress, seeking reform to revive the Congress in Bihar. However, he ignored it and continued with the same group of people when the assembly elections were announced.
Annoyed by the ticket distribution, more than a dozen leaders stood alone as independents in the assembly elections.