Senior Congress MLA and chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Manas Bhunia met All India Congress Committee (AICC) vice-president Rahul Gandhi and AICC general secretary C P Joshi, and spoke in his defence after being served a showcause notice for refusing to step down from the PAC chairman post.
“We met at 10.30 am for about 30 minutes. I have given the AICC vice-president a chronological development of events along with all the documentations. He gave us a patient hearing, and now it is up to the AICC leadership to decide,” Bhunia said over the phone.
Congress sources said that senior AICC leaders had decided to convene a meeting in New Delhi to resolve the logjam. While the meeting would be convened by Rahul Gandhi, Joshi would also be present, along with the three senior leaders in question — State Congress president and leader of the Opposition Adhir Chowdhury, Congress MLA Abdul Mannan and Bhunia.
“All three are not available together on any date before August 8, and thus a tentative date of August 9 has been fixed,” according to a senior Congress leader.
Mannan refused to comment on the matter, saying, “I have done everything according to the instruction of the AICC, and in future too will abide by whatever is decided by them. I do not think there has been any fight between Bhunia and me.”
On July 24, Bhunia had been showcaused via an email from the state Congress president, who said he had been asked to do so by the AICC leadership. Chowdhury had also said that he met senior AICC leaders, who said no indiscipline would be tolerated. The next day, Bhunia left for New Delhi to meet the AICC leadership and explain his stand.
Adhir Chowdhury conceded that he had been asked by the AICC to meet on August 9. “I will be in New Delhi on August 9 to meet the AICC leaders. I have not been told of the agenda of the meeting,” he told The Indian Express.