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Decide On My Fate, Bihar Congress Chief Urges Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi

Patna:  Ashok Choudhary knows his days as Bihar Congress chief are numbered, amid growing signs of a split that the party’s top leaders – Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi – are convinced is his handiwork. So he has a request for his bosses that comes to this – sack me if you will but put me out of my misery and soon.

“I met Rahulji twice after the government collapsed in Bihar and conveyed my feelings and now it’s up to them to take a decision,” Mr Choudhary told NDTV today, referring to the crash in July of the party’s grand alliance with Nitish Kumar and Lalu Yadav over corruption charges against the RJD chief’s son Tejashwi, who was deputy Chief Minister.

In Delhi earlier this month, Mr Choudhary was reportedly berated for suggesting that the Congress should dump Lalu Yadav and that it cannot afford to associate with the tainted Yadavs. The Bihar Congress chief suffered another big snub when he was not invited to Rahul Gandhi’s interaction with the party’s lawmakers; they were reportedly asked about the possibility of Mr Choudhary’s removal.

“You want to reward all those who ensured the highest number of seats…you beat a child who failed but you’re slapping a child who secured 99 per cent marks,” he told NDTV.

Mr Choudhary is believed to be the ringleader of some 18 Congress lawmakers who are ready to bolt, upset about the collapse of the grand alliance, which left the party out of power and the BJP back in the saddle.  

He is among the Congress ministers who lost their job when Nitish Kumar dumped the alliance and reembraced former ally BJP.

The 49-year-old criticised his leadership for not doing enough to save the alliance. “It’s a million dollar question when the mahagathabandhan was breaking – why wasn’t enough effort made? It’s for people to decide but the questions remains. When you’re trying to avert a split in the legislature party, why didn’t you take similar efforts to convince Lalu Yadav and Nitish Kumar?”

The comments seemed directed at Rahul Gandhi, even though Mr Choudhury pledged to stay loyal to the Congress vice president.

Smarting at Lalu Yadav’s latest taunt describing the Congress lawmakers in Bihar as “chirkut (worthless)” and saying he only spoke to Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, Mr Choudhary said: “It is up to the central party to decide whether what we were telling them was right or not,” he said.

He ruled out any possibility of joining hands with Nitish kumar, but said at an appropriate time, he will comment on who is better for Bihar – Nitish Kumar or Lalu Yadav and his sons.