It’s now turn of Congress’ Bihar unit to highlight rift

Congress’ Bihar unit is the latest one to highlight its internal rift, this time over the appointment of a new PCC president. A number of senior Congress leaders from Bihar have opposed the proposal of AICC in-charge of the state, Bhakta Charan Das, to make party MLA and Dalit leader Rajesh Kumar Ram the new PCC chief, replacing incumbent Madan Mohan Jha, by arguing that the new chief should be from the upper caste.

With Nitish Kumar’s JDU already on the prowl to poach the disgruntled Congress MLAs, the AICC is treading cautiously and is trying to negotiate peace with the resisting state Congress leaders, who have also complained to AICC general secretary (organisation) KC Venugopal against Das’ proposal.

While the backers of Ram, a second-time Congress MLA, vow by his credentials, those opposing the proposal have two grouses. They claimed Das, a former socialist who joined Congress a few years ago, had “an outsiders’ understanding” of the Congress and that the Bihar Congress was left with only some patchy pockets of upper caste base, which too could desert the party if they were not represented in the PCC leadership. They further argued that since major sections of OBCs, Dalits, Muslims had already deserted the Bihar Congress, it was fruitless to experiment by appointing a PCC chief from a backward community.

Das is also learnt to have proposed that PCC working presidents be appointed from different communities. The incumbent PCC chief Jha’s resignation after Congress electoral rout last year has not been accepted yet.

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