Rival Congress workers clash in Jharkhand

Ranchi, Aug 1 (IANS) Jharkhand Congress workers from rival groups on Thursday clashed with each other at the state party headquarters here.
The clashes turned ugly and police resorted to lathicharge to disperse the Congress workers. The clashes took places between supporters of Jharkhand Congress state chief Ajay Kumar and former Central minister Subodhkant Sahay.
Last week, Kumar was manhandled by Congress workers at a meeting over the party’s poor performance in the Lok Sabha polls. Six party workers were suspended.
Two of the suspended workers Rakesh Sinha and Surendra Singh reached the Congress office and shouted slogans in favor of Sahay as the supporters of Kumar countered them.
The supporters of Kumar and Sahay shouted raised slogans against each other even as hundreds of Congress workers were present. There was heavy deployment of security forces due to the tensions within the party.
In the clashes a photographer was injured while police detained four Congress workers.
Both leaders’ supporters have blamed each other for the incident.
“What has happened is unfortunate. If anyone has to say anything it should be raised at the right forum. The suspended party workers should take up their issues before the disciplinary committee,” Kishore Sahdeo, Congress spokesperson told IANS.
Sahay’s supporters say that six party leaders were suspended on Monday without serving them a show cause notice.
The Jharkhand Congress is a divided house after the Lok Sabha poll defeat. One group wants Kumar to be removed from the state president’s post. The group is supported by some legislators, former MPs and others.
Kumar had resigned after the poll defeat but was asked by the party to continue as state president.
Congress had fought the polls in a ‘grand alliance’ with JMM, RJD and others in Jharkhand. It had fought on seven seats but won only one.

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