28 September PATNA(India): Making evident their disapproval of the Congress high command’s decision to oust BPCC chief Ashok Choudhary, at least 26 of the 27 party MLAs skipped the function in which newly-appointed working president Kaukab Quadriassumed charge on Wednesday. This assumes significance as Choudhary needs the support of 18 MLAs to overcome the anti-defection law.
While only MLA Siddharth attended the event at state Congress HQ, at least 15 MLAs and MLCs visited Choudhary at his residence to express solidarity with him. “It would not be proper to reveal names of the MLAs who met Choudhary,” a close aide of the sacked party chief told TOI.
Peeved at his “unceremonious removal”, Choudhary told reporters that he never expected to be removed in this manner. “The unceremonious removal of a dalit person, whose two generations worked for strengthening Congress in Bihar, is very insulting and unfortunate,” he said.
Quadri said it was the same Congress which made him the party president and minister. Before assuming charge, Quadri called on Sadanand Singh, the Congress legislature party leader in assembly, at his residence. “Quadri is like my younger brother. The high command’s decision to appoint him as working president will be honoured,” Singh said.
Quadri later announced that Congress would launch a massive agitation across the state against multi-crore Srijan scam and bungling in Bateshwarsthan Ganga pump canal scheme. He said he would organise agitations at block and district levels against the “anti-people policies” of the Nitish Kumar government.
Quadri appealed to Congress leaders to sink their differences and strengthen the organisation. Asked about opposition of certain Congress legislators to the alliance with RJD boss Lalu Prasad, Quadri said, “It is a policy matter on which the party’s central leadership will take a call.”