M A I N   N E W S

Cong strikes back, removes Alva as general secretary
Ashok Tuteja
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 12
Congress president Sonia Gandhi today divested senior party leader Margaret Alva of her responsibility as AICC general secretary sending an unambiguous message to the party’s rank and file that indiscipline would not be tolerated at any cost.

Alva, who recently triggered a storm in the party by alleging that Congress tickets were sold during the May 2008 assembly elections in Karnataka, was also removed from the Congress Working Committee and the party’s central election committee. Alva’s ire was directed against Congress general secretary in-charge of Karnataka Digvijay Singh and minister of state in the Prime Minister’s Office Prithviraj Chavan, who were instrumental in the distribution of tickets, as her son was denied the ticket for contesting the polls.

Briefing reporters here, Congress spokesperson Shakeel Ahmed said Alva would, however, continue as a primary member of the AICC and would also campaign for the party in the coming Assembly elections in six states.

“Alva realised her mistake and, therefore, she resigned as AICC general secretary. The Congress president has accepted her resignation,” Ahmed said.

According to Ahmed, Alva should have taken up her grievances with the A.K Antony committee for reforms in the party, which was formed after the Assembly elections in Karnataka. She should have refrained from going to the media with her complaint. Such action could tarnish the image of the party, which has functioned on democratic lines.

Asked if any action was contemplated against other Congress leaders, like Yogendra Makwana and R.L Jalappa, who had come out in support of Alva, Ahmed said the party would have to verify the statements attributed to them in the media and then decide if any action was warranted. In any case, Makwana is said to be all set to float his own outfit shortly, he claimed.

Meanwhile, Congress sources said Sonia was disturbed by Alva’s outburst, as the 66-year-old party veteran has always been considered a close aide of the party chief. Given the nature of the allegation made by Alva, Sonia was not ready to brush aside the issue as that would have sent a wrong message to party cadre.

After she accepted Alva’s resignation today, Sonia acted promptly, making A.K Antony in-charge of party affairs in Maharashtra, Motilal Vora of Haryana, Mohsina Kidwai of Punjab and Chandigarh, and Oscar Fernandes of Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland, the states that were under the charge of Alva. Even Alva’s nameplate from outside her office at the AICC headquarter was removed shortly after her resignation was accepted.


Polls 2008

Now, BJP MLAs allege ticket sale
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Jaipur, November 12
After Margaret Alva embarrassed the Congress alleging that party ticket were being sold, some state BJP MLAs are trying to rock the party boat alleging ticket sale. These MLAs are mainly those who have been denied ticket for the forthcoming elections.

The BJP head office at Sardar Patel Marg here turned into a fortress after a large number of protesters gathered there and shouted slogans “give money get ticket”.

BJP MLA Navrattan Rajoria alleged money and not performance ruled the roost in the selection of candidates. “The BJP selection committee gave ticket to Nirmal Kumawat as he paid Rs 20 lakh to a confidante of Chief Minister Vasundhra Raje,” he alleged after filling nomination from Jhotwara as an Independent candidate.

Though state BJP president Om Mathur dismissed the allegation, the BJP was on the backfoot. No leader turned up at the customary daily briefing this evening. BJP parliamentary secretary Gobind Meghwal, who has also been denied ticket, alleged there was some “golmaal or ghotala” in the distribution of ticket.




HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |