New Delhi: The Congress is making all efforts to change its old guard in its state unit in Bihar. The decision to rebuild its organization (BPCC) has come amid a growing push from its workers and the general secretary in-charge, Bhakhtacharan Das.
The party is predominately focused on reforming the committee and there is a parallel effort to get a new president. The party has also reconstituted the BPCC disciplinary committee last month, headed by former minister Kripanath Pathak, which signals the party’s seriousness to revamp the BPCC. Informed sources told The Sunday Guardian, “The change may happen just after 15 January.”
The BPCC will see the inclusion of two young MLAs from the Chhatriya community. Besides Awadhesh Kumar Singh from the Rajput community (ex-MLA Wazirgunj), the inclusion will also see two likely candidates from OBC category—one is Kareen Kushvaha who is known to have good organisational skills, and another is Ranjeeta Ranjhan, Pappu Yadav’s wife. The committee will likely have eight working presidents.
“A complete panel will be inducted and the most likely candidate for a president will be a Dalit or a forward caste (Rajput or Brahmin),” a Congress leader said. By appointing leaders from the Dalit caste, forward caste, and Muslims, Congress is focused on targeting its traditional vote bank.
A senior Congress leader said, “I don’t know about the change, the high command might be doing it discreetly.” Earlier, Bhakhtacharan Das had proposed to change the current president Madan Mohan Jha, and appoint MLA Rajesh Ramwas as the state unit president, but the high command had rejected the proposal.
“The high command told him (Bhakhtacharan Das) he should come up with a panel and now he has already pitched a panel to them,” a Congress functionary said. The speculation that Kanhaiya Kumar will be the BPCC president was denied by a Congress leader, stating that Kanhaiya has just joined the Congress, and “he is yet to know the organisation”.
The lack of organised functioning of the Congress state unit has rendered the district level, village level, and block level weak and discordant as there has been no responsible person to monitor the day-to-day affairs of all the administrative levels in Bihar.
Kuntal Krishna, Bihar Congress spokesperson, told The Sunday Guardian, “Infusion of new faces, new team and new blood in Bihar would infuse new energy in the organisation, everyone wants the same and even the current president (Madhan Mohan Jha) wants the same that new blood should be infused in the organisation, so that we are able to go and construct strength from the grassroots, focus on the village level and fight for the people of Bihar. We want youngsters to come and join hands and build better for the people of Bihar. Currently, we do not aim for any elections, we are only concerned about raising the issues and concerns faced by needy people of Bihar. The booth is not a priority, the village is our priority, the panchayat is our priority.”
A young Congress leader said: “The BPCC body will be announced, but not till 14 January, it is considered inauspicious to do any new work till then, a belief called ‘Kharmas’, and parties in Bihar believe in it.”
The current president, Madan Mohan Jha, has been serving Congress for more than three years, and the rumblings to change Jha from the president’s position came after the crushing defeat of the Congress in the recently held by-elections in Kusheshwar Asthan and Tarapur.