I was Sacked because I am a Dalit; Says Ousted Congress State Chief

An emotional Ashok Kumar Chowdhary at a press conference in Patna on Wednesday.

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Patna: After having been removed unceremoniously from his position as the state President of the Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee (BPCC), Ashok Kumar Chowdhary, at a press conference in Patna on Wednesday said he felt "insulted" and blamed senior Congress leader C P Joshi for engineering his ouster.

Calling Joshi anti-dalit, Chowdhary, who was replaced by a relatively unknown Kaukab Qadri, said that the reason he was not given a proper farewell was due to the fact that he came from a dalit community.

"My family for the past two generations has served to strengthen and grow the party and this is how they treat me? I don't mind being replaced but the way they did it, it is very insulting and frustrating," Chowdhary said with his voice breaking up on several occasions and tears running down his eyes.

Blaming Joshi for poisoning the ear of party Vice President Rahul Gandhi, the former Education Minister said that the All India Congress Committee (AICC) General Secretary had misled the party high command about the condition of Congress in Bihar.

"He (Joshi) did not even have the common decency to talk to me directly to inform me that I have been replaced by someone else. I only came to know from the media," he said adding Joshi had been putting pressure on him to resign from his post so he could put a person of his choice to take his spot.

Continuing his attack on Joshi, Chowdhary said that while Congress as a party did not discriminate against people from any community, there were some within the party that have issues with Dalits like him.

Denying he was resigning from the party, the former BPCC President, who occupied the chair since 2013, said that he had no intention of joining any other party and was going to have a one-on-one meeting with Rahul Gandhi to tell him his side of the story.

Taking strong exceptions to his characterization as a 'chirkut' leader by Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, Chowdhary said that it should have been enough indication to the Congress high command about the kind of politicians his party was associating with.

"I had told both Sonia and Rahul Gandhi that we still have three years to prepare for the next state elections and so there was no need to form an alliance with the scam-tainted RJD. It is because of this dalliance and anti-dalit attitude by some leaders that we lost elections in many states where we should have won easily," he said.

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