The rift in the faction-ridden Bihar Congress deepened today with its working president Kaukab Quadri and his predecessor Ashok Chaudhary trading charges. The members of the rival camps in the party had come to blows at a Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee (BPCC) meeting here on Monday. "The BPCC may recommend action against Chaudhary and his supporters for their anti-party behaviour at the meeting on Monday.
We are awaiting the report of a five-member inquiry committee, which has been set up to look into the unruly behaviour that was witnessed at the Congress state headquarters," Quadri told reporters here. "We have taken cognizance of Chaudhary's attempts to weaken the party organisation and mislead the workers as well as the media," he added. Chaudhary's allegation that he had been hobnobbing with parties like the NCP and Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM), after being denied ticket in the 2015 Bihar Assembly polls, was an example of his "sick mentality", Quadri alleged. Speaking at the press conference, AICC member Premchand Mishra said Chaudhary and his supporters were guilty of "gross indiscipline and misconduct at a meeting, where a resolution was being passed for making Rahul Gandhi the party president". Meanwhile, talking to PTI, Chaudhary hit back at Quadri saying, "I do not care about the report of an inquiry committee which is not unbiased and transparent or its recommendation for any action." "They are accusing me of being anti-party, though I strove to expand our organisational base for as long as I was the BPCC president. He (Quadri) should explain to the workers where had he been and what had he been doing since the 2015 Assembly polls," Chaudhary, who was a minister in the erstwhile Grand Alliance government in the state, said. The Bihar Congress appears to have been split into two after the collapse of the Grand Alliance, following the exit of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who returned to the BJP. The faction led by Chaudhary is considered close to Kumar, while the one represented by Quadri and backed by senior leaders like Congress national general secretary C P Joshi and former Union minister Akhilesh Prasad Singh is said to be more comfortable with Lalu Prasad's RJD. Chaudhary was removed from the post of BPCC chief amid fears of a split in the Bihar Congress. In the 243-member Bihar Assembly, the Congress has 27 MLAs.
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