Chatterbox: Split in Bihar Congress unit; the party in a mess

Representative image | Photo: PTI
To leave or not to leave: 

The Congress unit in Bihar is in a mess. The party had six Members of Legislative Council (MLCs) of whom four — Ashok Choudhary along with Dilip Kumar Choudhary, Ram Chandra Bharti and Tanvir Akhtar — decided to join Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal United. The party does not have a president in the state  and might not have one till 2019 as it is too divided to elect one and does not want more defections ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections. The party is afraid of the inevitable lobbies that follow a new appointment and eventually prove divisive. And while ruling JDU-BJP MLAs want to leave and come over to the opposition, they are unable to do so as they don’t want to lose their seats — and don’t know whom to talk to.


About Phulpur constituency


The by-election to the Phulpur Lok Sabha constituency in Uttar Pradesh is being held on Saturday. Results will be out on March 14. Here is an interesting factoid about the constituency from veteran Congress watcher Rasheed Kidwai’s new book, Ballot. He says independent India’s first election ever, in 1952, saw Jawaharlal Nehru contest from this constituency. His challenger, among others was Swami Prabhu Dutt Brahmachari, supported by the Akhil Bharatiya Ram Rajya Parishad and the Hindu Mahasabha. The swami had taken a vow of silence but he issued a pamphlet as part of his campaign where he denounced Nehru as being guilty of allowing cow slaughter in independent India. He got only 56,718 votes compared to 2,33,571 votes Nehru got and lost his deposit. Nehru represented the constituency till his death in 1964.

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