Amid speculation of split in the Bihar Congress unit, party vice-president Rahul Gandhi summoned all MLAs and MLCs to Delhi on Wednesday.
Sources said Rahul will talk to all the legislators separately. The seriousness of the crisis can be gauged from the fact that senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad had arrived in Bihar only on Tuesday and Rahul sought the meeting the very next day.
Congress sources said the state unit, led by former education minister Ashok Chaudhary, who is considered close to Nitish Kumar, is deeply divided after the Bihar Chief Minister broke his alliance with the Congress and returned to the NDA fold.
Many leaders are opposing continuing alliance with the Lalu Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD). Congress has 27 MLAs in Bihar and 14 of them have reportedly signed a letter for forming a new group. But the breakaway faction would require the support of at least 18 MLAs to meet the condition laid down in anti-defection law.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi had met top leaders Ashok Chaudhary and Sadanand Singh a few days ago to stop any Gujarat like situation from happening in Bihar. Chaudhary admitted after the meeting that few party leaders were spreading talk of the split which he claimed was not true.
But sources said, few Muslim MLAs from Seemanchal region, after their return to Bihar, again made contact with JD(U) leaders.
Lalu alleged that Nitish was trying to engineer a split in the Congress. Nitish denied the charge but fired a salvo at the RJD chief saying, “Lalu ji wants to keep some of the Congress MLAs in his pocket.”