Patna: Factionalism within the Bihar Congress on Wednesday came to the fore at a function to mark the birth anniversary of Indira Gandhi with warring groups organising separate shows here on the occasion.
Leaders at the two functions took potshots at their rivals within the party, while stressing on unity to avenge the "insult" to Indira Gandhi by Prime Minister Narendra Modi by not attending her martyrdom day function on October 31.
A function was held at Congress headquarters at Sadaquat Ashram, while another was organised at the Miller High School ground.
A group within the party is angry with the BPCC chief over appointment of district presidents. Some of them had recently met Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and complained against functioning of the PCC President.
The dissension was apparent at the Miller High School ground function when BPCC President Ashok Chaudhary was left out of a huge rose garland to welcome former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, former Kerala Governor Nikhil Kumar, former Assembly Speaker Sadanand Singh and former Union Minister Akhilesh Prasad Singh.
The BPCC President, who had come straight to the function organised by Sadanand Singh, Legislature Party leader and Ramdev Rai, after attending the anniversary celebrations at Congress Headquarters at Sadaqat Ashram, was made to wait for a long time after being called to speak as another announcer rushed in and said he would welcome and call the BPCC chief to address the gathering.
When it was Chaudhary's turn, he took potshots at Sadanand Singh saying, "If you are 'Bhisma Pitamah' (term used by ex-Speaker Meira Kumar for him) you should also play his role. You should work to foster unity in the party... What is the need to wander away from the fold? You should remain here and work."
As Chaudhary walked away after firing his salvo, former Union Minister Akhilesh Prasad Singh said, "Sadanand Singh would not have organised this had BPCC organised a big function at Congress headquarters. But it is a fact when any big occasion comes, BPCC becomes silent. This function will give a direction to the Congress."
Former Kerala Governor Nikhil Kumar said a programme has been organised here by Congress after a long time and added that the big gathering of supporters indicates the party is alive in the state.
The former Kerala Governor also said the need of the hour was to unite and chalk out a programme to regain the party's identity. "The life of Indira Gandhi, who worked for the unity of the nation will inspire us," he added.