The rift in West Bengal Congress on Wednesday came out in the open as a section of senior leaders demanded the ouster of state unit chief Adhir Chowdhury, accusing him of “damaging the party by his arbitrary way of functioning”.
Led by state Congress general secretary Kanak Debnath and other loyalists of senior party leader Manas Bhunia, the anti-Adhir section lashed out at him and Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly Abdul Mannan. They accused the duo of destroying the party and cautioned that it would cease to exist politically if they remained at the helm of the state unit. They have also decided to write to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi regarding their grievances against the duo.
“The functioning and management of West Bengal Congress is in a sorry state. Chowdhury, who is unaware of the history and sacrifice of the party, has destroyed its organisational structure. He is not at all interested in running the unit under a collective leadership and improving our organisational base in the state,” Debnath told reporters. He termed forging an alliance with the Left a “political harakiri” and claimed that Congress MLAs and other elected representatives were leaving the party and joining the Trinamool Congress (TMC) due to the decision.
“During the Assembly election, the entire situation was a mess. The process of negotiation was faulty, the number of seats allotted to the Congress was very less and the selection of candidates was not even discussed at the PCC-level. Also, most of the candidates did not get the full fund allotted by the AICC for the election and the reason was best known to Chowdhury,” Debnath alleged.
“We appeal to every Congress leader to come out of the clutches of the Left-oriented policies being followed by Chowdhury and Mannan or else, the Congress in Bengal cannot be saved. We feel, Chowdhury should take moral responsibility and step down as the state unit chief,” he said. When contacted, Chowdhury said it was the AICC that had appointed him as the state unit chief.
“I do not wish to comment on these baseless allegations. It is the AICC and our party’s top leadership that had appointed me the state unit chief,” he said.