Monday, April 19, 2010

Maoist threat forces Congmen to quit party

Uttam Mukherjee, TNN, Apr 17, 2010, 09.42pm IST

LOHARDAGA: Congress workers in Lohardaga have started leaving the party following a threat from the Maoists. The rebels had issued an ultimatum to the former, asking them to oppose Operation Green Hunt or leave the party. Posters at various places in the Kuru police station area last week had conveyed the message to the Congressmen.

In the poster, the Maoists categorically blamed Congress for being instrumental in the launch of Operation Green Hunt. The Maoists had given Congressmen a 15-day deadline, asking them to oppose Green Hunt or leave the party. If they fail, the Congress workers would face dire consequences. The poster also appealed to the common people to boycott Congress in favour of the Maoists.

Following the threat, most Congress workers from Kuru block have started leaving the party. The number is increasing by the day and it has now reached 75.

The partymen have mentioned several reasons for leaving the party, officially. Most of them claimed that the party's top leaders have neglected them. "During the recent visit of former MP Rameshwar Oraon and MLA Sukhdeo Bhagat to Kuru block, many partymen there were just not informed about it. So, we felt hurt and quit," said Azim Khan, a party worker.

Nandlal Tiwari, the Youth Congress block secretary, repeated the same while many others said they left owing to infighting in the party.

What Lohardaga district party chief Sabir Khan said in this context was a little different though. He said all those leaving the party were certainly not genuine Congress actvists, working at the ground level. He even named those turncoats, who often change parties and switch allegiance to the ruling side.

"Though the Maoist threat has sparked panic in the Congress ranks here, none of the resignations I have received has mentioned it as a reason for leaving the party," said Khan, adding that all have either complained of negligence or internal conflict as the primary reason for quitting. He further stated that most of the conflicts were related to contracts of development schemes that have no way of falling in the hands of the party MP or MLA, who have lost the elections.

"It's just finding something to mention for the turncoats, who are likely to join the ruling side," said Khan. He also described the matter as a conspiracy by other parties against the national parties ahead of the coming panchayat polls.

"Maoists are not right in blaming Congress for Green Hunt. It's a central government decision. Congress has never asked it for Green Hunt," added Khan.

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