Notes of discord emerged from the faction-ridden Bihar Congress on Thursday with the group led by former state chief pitching for the party to contest by-poll on Araria Lok Sabha seat while the camp at the saddle trashing the view said high command would take a call after consulting Lalu Prasad.
The Araria Lok Sabha seat fell vacant upon the death of sitting RJD MP Mohammad Taslimuddin in September last.
The Election Commission is yet to notify by-election on Araria Parliamentary seat.
“I think we should come forward with the proposal of contesting by-election in Araria. The Lok Sabha seat has a sizeable minority population and we can be assured of a victory there”,former BPCC President Ashok Choudhary told PTI.
“As a national party, we must use every opportunity to build a momentum in our favour. Victories in by-polls serve the purpose exceedingly well. We have seen that in Gurudaspur in Punjab and Chitrakoot in Madhya Pradesh. Araria could be yet another feather in our cap”, Choudhary said.
Conflicting opinion within Bihar Congress assume significance because of differential inclination of the rival camps.
While Choudhary’s group is inclined towards Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, the another one represented by interim President Kaukab Qadri has clear-cut tilt towards Lalu Prasad’s RJD.
The factional fight intensified within Bihar Congress after disintegration of Grand Alliance in which it was a partner with RJD and JD(U).
Choudhary was removed from the BPCC president’s post a couple of months ago following allegations by a rival faction within the party, said to be more comfortable with the Rashtriya Janata Dal, that he was trying to split the state unit and join the new government which Nitish Kumar had formed with support from the BJP in July last.
Qadri rubbished Choudhary’s suggestion on Araria, saying “he may have expressed his personal opinion on the issue. It was, however, unnecessary to have done so. The party high command is well aware that the seat is vacant. It will take a call on the issue after holding discussions with (RJD supremo) Lalu Prasad”.
“People who are not authorized to take a decision on such issues, must refrain from making statements which do little except garnering publicity”, Qadri added.
Meanwhile, RJD national Vice President Shivanand Tiwary also dismissed Choudhary’s views as “a desperate attempt by an isolated figure to revive his political fortunes”.
“He (Chaudhary) is not even the state president now. In what capacity is he issuing statements. The Congress national leadership knows well that the seat was held by RJD. I do not think such mischief will lead to any confusion between the two parties”, Tiwary said.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines