Congress attempts to placate Bihar MLAs


As the Congress got a wind of the rebellious nature of more than a dozen MLAS, the central leadership dispatched senior leaders Jyotiraditya Scindia and J P Agarwal to Patna last week to broker peace.

Somewhat similar to Gujarat, the finger of suspicion was pointed at Bihar unit chief Ashok Chowdhary, considered to be an acolyte of Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi.

In Gujarat, the Congress Legislature Party leader Shankarsinh Vaghela had led the defection ahead of last month’s much-chronicled Rajya Sabha election.

Scindia and Agarwal, who held discussions with the party MLAs in Bihar, had raised red flags in their report to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who promptly stepped in and called Chowdhary and Bihar CLP leader Sadanand Singh for talks here.

Chowdhary and Singh had managed to gather support from 14 of the 27 Congress legislators, but were still short of four MLAs to ensure a split without attracting provisions of the anti-defection law.

Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, who was in Patna on Sunday to attend RJD supremo Lalu Prasad’s anti-BJP rally, went into a firefighting mode and reached out to the disgruntled MLAs.

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