Bihar Congress on verge of splitting; 19 MLAs seek breakup with RJD

Sources said Rahul Gandhi had invited the Congress MLAs to avoid a split in the party

Amid reports of a rift in its Bihar unit, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday met several party MLAs in the state and sought to know from them the political situation and also the future course of action.

Talking to TOI, Congress MLA from Bhagalpur, Ajit Sharma who met Rahul on Wednesday said,"I told Rahul that Congress does not need an alliance with RJD in Bihar for the time being".

Another MLA Anand Shankar echoed the similar sentiment and said that everyone gave their suggestions.

"I have been working to strengthen Congress in Bihar over the past 25 years". However, Congress spokesman Premchandra Mishra said JD (U)'s efforts to engineer a split in the party have turned futile.

The former Chief Minister of Bihar has accused Prime Minister Modi of falsely framing him, a statement which received the nod from Congress supremo Sonia Gandhi.

Bihar Congress chief Ashok Chaudhary on Thursday said that some senior leaders in Delhi tasked to handle the state's affairs were conspiring against him and "spreading rumours" that he was trying to split the party.

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It is being assumed that now, Ashok has the support of 14 Congress MLAs and four MLCs in Bihar, as per the required number to split the party he needs just four more MLAs to support him. "If people think everything would be fine with my ouster, I am ready to leave the post and continue to serve the party", Chaudhary said. A Congress worker can not approve of this because what Nitish did is not only opportunism but also a compromise with ideology. He later allied with the BJP and was sworn in as the chief minister again. "As I had some prior personal engagements for the day, I could not attend the meeting".

The Congress Vice President is now grappling with the party's sliding electoral graph after a series of defeats.

Crucially, Chaudhary is believed to enjoy the support of 14 MLAs and four MLCs in Bihar and need just four more to cross over to the JD (U).

On the other hand, Nitish Kumar's move has also dealt a blow to the Congress' support base in Bihar.

Lalu is one of the oldest and most trusted ally of Gandhi, but the same sentiment is not shared by majority of the state Congress leaders.

This prompted RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav to allege that Nitish was engineering a split in the Congress, a charge Nitish vehemently contested.

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