A SCUFFLE broke out between two senior Congress leaders at a party meet held in Ahmedabad, on Tuesday, over taking command of the Radhanpur seat, following the recent resignation of rebel Congress leader Alpesh Thakore from the Vidhan Sabha.
The incident happened between Lalji Desai, president of All India Congress Seva Dal and Raghu Desai, General Secretary of Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) at a meeting held at Rajiv Bhawan on Tuesday afternoon.
A senior Congress leader informed this newspaper that the scuffle broke out after the meet had ended and the two allegedly pushed each other and exchanged abuses outside the conference hall. “There was an old dispute between the two leaders and an argument broke out then,” said the leader.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Lalji Desai said, “I am a true Gandhian and I never believe in acts of violence. As a true disciplined soldier of my party, I would not like to divulge any details regarding the cause of the scuffle.”
When asked if he would take up the matter in the party, Desai said, “Whatever happened, happened in the presence of senior leaders of the party.” Sources said that although the motive behind the meet was to start preparations for the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and the 75th birth anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi, Raghu Desai confronted Lalji Desai over the latter’s involvement in party activities in Radhanpur
The Radhanpur seat has been left empty after rebel Congress leader Alpesh Thakor resigned from Vidhan Sabha and officially joined the Bharatiya Janata Party. When asked about the incident, Raghu Desai denied any acts of violence.
“We did not indulge in any violence or verbal abuses, but there was a disagreement between us over the party’s workings in Radhanpur. I just asked him that when the party has not officially given the charge of Radhanpur to any leader, then why is he visiting and getting involved in the party activities over there?” he said.