Congress issues notice to Jharkhand leader

The Jharkhand Congress on Thursday issued a show-cause notice to senior leader Furqan Ansari for criticising senior leader Rahul Gandhi and the party’s state incharge RPN Singh, people aware of the matter said.

The development coincided with Bihar Congress president Madan Mohan Jha offering to step down from the post taking moral responsibility for the party’s poor show in the just-concluded assembly elections.

The All India Congress Committee (AICC) incharge of Bihar Shaktisinh Gohil along with Gujarat incharge Rajeev Satav had already offered to quit their posts for the poll debacles in their respective states.

Ansari, a former Lok Sabha member and a prominent Muslim leader in Jharkhand, had raised questions on Rahul Gandhi’s campaigning in Bihar. He also claimed that the people working in Gandhi’s office and also his advisers were mainly MBA graduates.

“As a result, they are not able to give him the right advice or suggest key talking points for his campaign speeches. To strengthen the Congress, it is important for Rahul Gandhi to have a political advisor,” said Ansari, whose son Irfan is currently a legislator from Jamtara.

Ansari said he would write to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi and seek major changes in the party organisation.

Ansari also attacked Jharkhand incharge RPN Singh. “If I were at the helm, I would have not appointed him (Singh) even a block president,” he said.

There were demands from state leaders for strict action against Ansari to send a “stern message” to dissenters.

Acting on requests from several leaders, party’s Jharkhand working president Kamlesh Mahto Kamlesh issued the show-cause notice to Ansari on behalf of state unit chief Rameshwar Oraon.

In the notice, Ansari has been asked to explain his remarks within seven days.

Differences in the Congress have surfaced again after the results of assembly elections in Bihar and by-polls in several states. On Thursday, senior leader Mallikarjun Kharge attacked party colleagues for targeting the Congress leadership following defeat in elections, accusing them of “weakening” the party from within.

“We have to fight unitedly. It has pained me that some senior leaders have spoken against the party and its leadership,” he said.

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