Amidst the recent episode of widespread violence which consumed Gujarat, which was reportedly instigated by Congress MLA Alpesh Thakor and his aides, the party appears to have distanced itself from the leader. In a function scheduled on 21st October in Bihar to mark the birth anniversary of Shri Krishna Singh, the state’s first chief minister, all top leaders of the party are invited.
In what appears like an internal rift within the party, Congress has not invited Thakor, who is also the secretary in-charge for Bihar. When asked about the possibility of Thakor attending the function, Bihar Congress president Madan Mohan Jha and BPCC campaign committee chairman Akhilesh Prasad Singh said “After being appointed the AICC secretary in-charge of the state, he has visited Bihar only once. As far as we know, no invitation has been sent to him”.
The Congress leaders, however, did not specify if keeping Thakor away was a conscious decision taken in view of the resentment among Biharis against the assault on migrant workers in Gujarat for which the Kshatriya Thakor Sena, run by the MLA has been accused.
Instead, Jha and Singh, in an attempt to shroud the Congress’ decision tried to turn around the argument by blaming the BJP for the recent clashes in Gujarat. “It is the BJP government in Gujarat which is responsible for the violence against people from the Hindi belt. The BJP has been trying to deflect public attention from its own failure by dragging the name of Alpesh Thakor. Even if he is guilty, who has stopped the Gujarat government from taking any action?” they said.
The celebration of birth anniversary of Shri Krishna Singh, (the first Chief Minister of Bihar who occupied the post until his death in 1961) is seen as an attempt by the Congress to win back a section of the upper castes who have traditionally been its voters in the state but have recently, gravitated towards the BJP.