Moily denies reports of being removed from Congress media cell post (Lead)May 9th, 2009 - 4:59 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, May 9 (IANS) Congress leader M. Veerappa Moily Saturday denied that he has been asked to step down as head of the party’s media cell and said he had relinquished the post as part of a “temporary arrangement”.
Reacting to reports that he has been sacked as media head for his criticism of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, viewed as a potential post-poll ally, Moily told media persons here: “This is an internal temporary administrative arrangement of AICC (All India Congress Committee). Someone has played some kind of mischief.”
Moily also said that his relinquishing the post had nothing to do with his comments on Nitish Kumar.
Moily told reporters he had relinquished the post of media cell head on March 31 so that he could concentrate on the Lok Sabha campaign in his home state Karnataka and that Janardhan Dwivedi was made in-charge “temporarily”.
After March 31 too, Moily has been holding some of the daily media briefings of the Congress at its headquarters here.
Moily had Friday criticised Janata Dal-United leader Nitish Kumar after he rebuffed overtures by the Congress, saying: “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.”
Moily has also reportedly rubbed United Progressive Alliance (UPA) partners Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) the wrong way, by accusing them 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.
In a similar incident in January, news came of the removal of Congress spokesperson Satyavrat Chaturvedi from the post after he called Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh “a mental case”.
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