Losing Lalu out of question, says Rahul Gandhi; Bihar Congress lawmakers bemused

Rahul Gandhi

In the last two days, Rahul has also met MLAs and party leaders from Bihar in a bid to assuage their feelings.

The sources added that the Congress might initiate some changes in the party soon, though no official confirmation was available. On being asked, why he did not participate in the meeting, he said,"I met Sonia and Rahul twice after Bihar CM Nitish Kumar dumped the Grand Alliance".

Gandhi summoned all 27 Congress legislators to Delhi for discussion on alliance and the leadership issue.

In the month of July, Nitish Kumar tended his resignation as the Chief Minister of Bihar.

The report comes amid speculation that a few Congress members, including Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee chief Ashok Chaudhary, may defect to the Janata Dal (United).

To escape disqualification under anti-defection law, the rebel Congress leaders should have at least 18 out of 27 MLAs under its fold to effect a split and join JD (U).

"Some AICC leaders are behind the crisis in the Congress in Bihar...they are fuelling rebellion against me by alleging that I'm making attempts to break the party in favour of the JD (U) so they can replace me with their favourite", Chaudhary said. These study tours are set to benefit him, the Congress party as well as this nation at large.

In a meeting with Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday morning, at least 9 party MLAs and 2 party MLCs demanded that strong action be taken against those siding with Kumar, according to MLAs who attended the meet. He believes that if needed, the Congress can ally with the Rashtriya Janata Dal ahead of the 2019 elections to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Other Bihar Congress lawmakers also spoke about Lalu's diminishing powers and his waning Muslim-Yadav support. But he went after the other 10 per cent and not after those 90 per cent, he said. A Congress worker can not approve of this because what Nitish did is not only opportunism but also a compromise with ideology.

However denying the rumours of a split in Congress Bihar, the party spokesperson Premchandra Mishra said "JD (U)'s efforts to engineer a split in the party have been futile, they (Chaudhary and Singh) had got the support of 14 MLAs and four MLCs for crossing over to JD (U)".

During the meeting of Bihar MLAs with Rahul Gandhi, they alleged the RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav to be unfaithful to towards Congress.

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