A day after Congress observer Kevel Singh Dhillon visited the city, party workers are claiming that they were compelled to support tainted city MP Suresh Kalmadi on Tuesday. Local workers allege that they had to toe the line out of fear that if they would not support Kalmadi, his loyalists would oust them from the party.
Dhillon had come calling to gauge the situation, and deliberate on probable candidates for the upcoming 2014 elections. Yesterday, party workers elaborated on what exactly transpired when Dhillon visited the Congress Bhavan to discuss the probable candidates. A party worker, on condition of anonymity, stated that the party’s city unit was in the hands of Kalmadi’s loyalists, and if any Congress worker would have given his opinion against the tainted city MP, then he would have been sacked by the party.
“Few young corporators who recently started their political career with the party were scared of the repercussions if they would not support Kalmadi in front of the observer. They feared their political career would come to an end,” said the party insider. Another party insider said that the party workers who don’t have any official post were in a fix whether to support Kalmadi, as any disagreement with Kalmadi’s supporters would have resulted in them losing their party membership,” said a local worker without mentioning any names.
“There are many senior Congress leaders who are loyalists of Kalmadi, and we would have to face the consequences if we spoke against Kalmadi,” said another worker. A senior party leader agreed that party workers were in a limbo wherein they were apprehensive that the party city chief would take action against them if they said anything about Kalmadi. The senior leader further alleged that observer was highjacked by Kalmadi and his supporters.
Reacting to the allegations, party city chief and Kalmadi supporter Abhay Chhajed said that party workers have their own views and he would not like to comment on the issue. Meanwhile, observer Dhillon said that he is presently assessing the overall atmosphere of the city after having brief meetings with party workers and could not comment on the issue before submitting the report to party high command in Delhi. Kalmadi couldn’t be contacted, as his office bearer said he was not in the city and they would also not able to provide his telephone number.
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