The Telegraph
Tuesday , May 20 , 2014
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Cong high command to decide on stand

The Congress Legislature Party (CLP) on Monday sought instructions from the party high command vis-à-vis extending support to the JD(U)-led secular government in the state after Nitish Kumar’s resignation from the post of chief minister.

A Congress Legislature Party meeting was convened at the 27 Hardinge Road residence of Sadanand Singh to discuss the party’s future course of action in the developing political scenario of the state.

After parleys, the Congress Legislature Party decided to authorise the high command to chart its future strategy.

“We have updated the party high command of the latest developments in Bihar. We have also apprised her (Sonia Gandhi) of Nitish Kumar turning down the JD(U) legislators’ demand to lead the party. In this scenario, the party MLAs and MLCs have unanimously decided to seek instructions and guidance from the high command for the CLP’s future course of action,” Singh told The Telegraph.

All the four Congress MLAs — Singh himself, Md Javed, Afaque Alam and Tauseef Ahmad — were present in the meeting. So was the Congress’s state president, Ashok Choudhary, one of the three MLCs of the party.

The other two MLCs — Madan Mohan Jha and Dilip Kumar Choudhary — could not attend the meeting because they were out of station but their views were sought over telephone.

After the meeting, Singh stressed on the need to strengthen the secular forces in the state, especially in the context of the BJP forming the government at the Centre.

On whether the Congress would extend support with its four MLAs to the new JD(U) government led by Jitan Ram Manjhi in the Assembly, Choudhary told The Telegraph: “The party has not withdrawn its support to the JD(U) till date. We had extended support to the Nitish-led government in June last year to strengthen the secular forces in the state. For this reason, we have sought direction from the high command on what we should do in the future.”

The Congress had extended its support to the Nitish government after the JD(U) severed its 17-year-old ties with the BJP on June 16 last year. The party’s four MLAs had voted in favour of the trust motion moved by Nitish in the Assembly on June 19.

Referring to Nitish’s resignation and the subsequent changing political scenario, Choudhary made it clear that the party would take a call on its stand after getting instructions from the high command. It would also hinge on who is chosen the JD(U)’s next leader.

Choudhary also scotched rumours that the party was considering to be a part of the next JD(U) government in the state. “The issue was not discussed at all during the meeting,” Choudhary said.

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