Congress asks spokesman Moily to take a break

May 9th, 2009 - 2:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, May 9 (IANS) Congress spokesman Veerappa Moily has been asked to step down from his post as head of Congress media cell, party sources said here Saturday, a day after he criticised Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. Moily however said he had relinquished the post long ago to concentrate on the Lok Sabha poll campaign.
Criticising Congress’ potential post-poll ally Nitish Kumar of the Janata Dal-United, Moily had said Friday: “I do not think the Congress is going to make a hero of Nitish Kumar. The manner in which he has aligned with the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) and is carrying on…that kind of pollutes his secular credentials.

“Nitish Kumar thinks too much of himself and will regret staying with the BJP. We are not reaching out to him. If he wants to be in the communal cauldron, it’s up to him.”

Party sources said that Moily was promptly asked to step down from his post of All India Congress Committee (AICC) media chairman. AICC general secretary Janardhan Dwivedi is likely to replace him, they added.

Moily however told the TV channel Times Now he had relinquished the post of media cell head way back on March 31 and had handed over charge to Dwivedi, so that he could concentrate on the Lok Sabha campaign in his home state Karnataka.

However, Moily had still been holding some of the daily media briefings of the Congress at itys headquarters here. A few days back, Moily had also accused United Progressive Alliance (UPA) partners Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) of “insulting” the party over seat-sharing in Bihar.

“We should be more angry. We never wronged them… Paswan (Ram Vilas Paswan of LJP) and Lalu-ji (Lalu Prasad of RJD), for reasons best known to them, they left us only two seats,” he had said.

The statement irritated both Lalu Prasad and Paswan, who have been among the staunchest allies of the Congress for the past five years. They are also the main rivals of Nitish Kumar in Bihar, and Congress sources said Moily’s statements were leaving little room for the party to ally itself with any of the big groups in the state after the polls.

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