A day after he was sacked from his job, ousted Bihar Congress president Ashok Choudhary on Wednesday broke down before at a press conference and accused that the party removed him abruptly because he is a Dalit.
The ousted Congress leader also came down heavily on All India Congress Committee (AICC) General Secretary C P Joshi and blamed him for "misleading the high-command about the party affairs in the state".
"I don't deserve the way I was removed. The unceremonious exit of a Dalit is unfortunate and insulting. After the break-up of the Maha-Gathbandhan, I was ready to quit, but I didn't want to embarrass the party. I am a second generation Congressman and gave my sweat and blood to resurrect the party. As a committed Congressi, I deserved an honourable exit," Choudhary told at a press conference at his official residence in Patna on Wednesday.
He said that his ouster as an "insult to the Dalit community", which is being honoured by Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi by having lunches with families. The son of the veteran Congress leader Late Mahavir Choudhary, Ashok Choudhary has been associated with the Congress for over 25 years now. He headed the party in the state for over four years.
Pointing at senior Congress leader C P Joshi, in-charge of party's affairs in Bihar, Choudhary blamed him for conspiring against him. "Joshi had been putting pressure on me." Choudhary said that he wasn't even informed "officially". "I came to know about the high command's decision from media reports. Our state in-charge Joshi had the time to announce it on the TV channels, yet he couldn't find time to call me up first," he said.
"How can one work when his own boss start conspiring against him? The state in-charge wanted to remove me and put someone else on the post. During the crisis in the Maha-Gathbandhan in July, the Congress legislative party called Joshi ji for five times, but he didn't turn up. Why so? The party lost in Assam, Manipur and West Bengal assembly elections because of his inefficiency and complacency. Now he is weakening the party in Bihar," said an emotionally surcharged Choudhary.
"Every dog has its day. He succeeded in his conspiracy to remove me as the state unit chief. Since day one, he was trying to remove me. He had been telling the AICC that Ashok Choudhary is trying to break away with 11 MLAs. He connived with leaders of other parties and cooked up this story. Have I ever told anyone that I am quitting the party or asked anyone to join me? They say that I have a cordial relationship with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. Is having a cordial relationship with anyone a crime? " said the ousted Congress chief.
He also praised Bihar Chief Minister and lambasted RJD chief Lalu Prasad. "It's open and everyone can see it. With whom we prospered — Lalu or Nitish? You can go across the country and ask who the people consider a better leader and you would have your answer." Choudhary, however, said that he would remain in the Congress. He was sacked by Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday night and appointed Kaukab Qadri as the acting president of the state unit.