Congress is in search of new state chief in Jharkhand after the recent turmoil where three of its MLAs were caught in West Bengak with a large amount of cash – allegedly as first part of a deal to switch sides – and suspended.
However, the new state President, to succeed incumbent Rajesh Thakur, is likely to be appointed after election for the Congress President’s post later this month.
With the party focussing on a tribal face, Lok Sabha member and wife of former Chief Minister Madhu Koda, Geeta Koda is said to be the front runner, while Bandhu Tirkey and Kalicharan Munda are other contenders, party sources said.
Meanwhile, the state of affairs in the party unit is far from being peaceful.
Congress has four ministers – Alamgir Alam, Ramshwar Oraon, Banna Gupta, and Badal Patralekh in the JMM-led government, and sources say MLAs and leaders have expressed dissatisfaction over their working style, and several voices have been raised for a change.
Of the 18 Congress MLAs in the state, five are women, but they complain despite winning in such a large number for the first time, not a single woman MLA was given a ministerial post.
A Congress woman MLA told IANS: “On hand, the party gives the slogan of ‘Ladki hoon, lad sakti hoon’ (I am a girl, I can fight), but on the other hand, the women who have won in the Assembly polls are not considered worthy of becoming a minister. This contradiction should be cleared.”
The organisational structure of the Congress in the state is also not good. Since 2017, the party has not been able to constitute the Committee, and the organisation in the state is being run by the state President, three-four executive Presidents, and few spokespersons.
Asked why the state committee could not be formed in the state in the past five to six years, state chief Thakur told IANS: “This time, all processes have been completed for the constitution of the Pradesh Congress Committee. It is expected that after completion of the party’s election for the presidential post, in few days, Pradesh Congress Committee will be announced.”
Thakur said that election of President for 319 blocks has been held and on October 10 a 25-30 member committee will be formed in each block.