The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Jakhar, Vora to probe poll loss

New Delhi, Oct. 4: The Congress high command today formed a two-member panel to probe the Solapur bypoll debacle in a move that is being seen as an expression of its lack of confidence in the panel set up by the Maharashtra Congress leadership to probe the causes of the defeat.

The announcement that Congress treasurer Motilal Vora and senior leader Balram Jakhar will probe the loss in Maharashtra came just a day after state unit chief Ranjit Deshmukh set up a four-member panel for the same purpose.

The high command’s decision came after Deshmukh, now in the capital after being summoned, met party chief Sonia Gandhi to give his version of the debacle.

It also came in the middle of a not-so-publicised blame game that is going on between the Deshmukh-led organisational wing of the party and the chief minister Sushil Kumar Shinde-led government apparatus.

When he met Sonia four days ago, Shinde is believed to have told her that the party and its ally, the Nationalist Congress Party, had let the Congress nominee down in the Solapur seat that he had vacated after taking over as chief minister in January.

Today, Deshmukh rejected the allegation that the organisational wing — controlled by the powerful Maratha lobby — had not done enough for the success of party nominee and state minister Anandrao Devkate.

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