The All India Congress Committee (AICC) is all set to change the leadership of the Bihar unit of Congress with the term of the incumbent Pradesh Congress Committee president Ashok Chaudhary coming to an end on 31 March.
Senior party leaders said the change in the leadership was required as Chaudhury, who is also the Bihar Education Minister, was preoccupied with his ministerial job and was not able to do justice as state president of the Congress. Senior Congress leaders including AICC treasurer Motilal Vora had recently visited Patna during which the state leaders demanded a change in the PCC and complained that the party was losing its vote share in the state because of Chaudhary’s lack of attention towards the party.
According to state Congress leaders, the strength of the Congress MLAs in Bihar Assembly had risen from four in 2010 to 27 in the 2015 Assembly elections because of the party’s alliance with the RJD and the JDU, rather than for any other reason.
“Not too much should be read into the increase in our seats as our vote share has declined from 8.42% in the 2010 Assembly elections to 6.7% in 2015. Similarly, in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections too, our vote share went down by 3% from what we had got in 2010,” a Patna based party leader said.
Chaudhury had taken over as the PCC chief in April 2013 from Mohammad Ali Kaiser, who later joined the Lok Janshakti Party of Ram Vilas Paswan and successfully contested the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. State leaders, according to party sources, have also told the high command that the funds sent by the AICC and by a senior Karnataka minister for the 2015 Assembly election campaign were not disbursed among the party candidates from Sadaqat Ashram, which is the headquarters of the state PCC, due to which the Congress nominees remained dependent on the RJD and JDU leadership for their campaign. Even AICC general secretary in charge of Bihar, C.P. Joshi visited Bihar during the campaign only when Rahul Gandhi toured the state, they complained. According to a former PCC president who returned to Patna from New Delhi on Thursday, the high command has promised changes in both the general secretary in-charge and state president this month itself.