1. Home
  2. English
  3. Adhir Chowdhury Resigns as WB Congress President, Mamata to Campaign for Priyanka
Adhir Chowdhury Resigns as WB Congress President, Mamata to Campaign for Priyanka

Adhir Chowdhury Resigns as WB Congress President, Mamata to Campaign for Priyanka

Social Share

Manas Dasgupta

NEW DELHI, June 21: In the wake of his defeat in the just-concluded Parliamentary elections, the former leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Friday resigned as the president of the West Bengal Congress Committee.

He submitted his resignation after a meeting of the state unit of the Congress this afternoon, convened to review the reasons behind the party’s poor performance in the state in the Lok Sabha elections. However, there is no official confirmation from the Congress leadership on whether his resignation has been accepted. Speculations have already surfaced over who would succeed him.

Soon after Mr Chowdhury announced his resignation, the West Bengal chief minister and the Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee said she was prepared to campaign for the Congress candidate for the Wayanad by-election Priyanka Gandhi who will try to retain the seat for her party which was won by her brother Rahul Gandhi but has to vacate in preference to the Rae Bareli seat in Uttar Pradesh which also he won.

Confirming his resignation, Mr Chowdhury said, “Since Mallikarjun Kharge became the Congress’s national president, there was no state president. Now when the full-time President is appointed you will all come to know that.”

Incidentally, he made this announcement just a day after the Congress’s Rajya Sabha member and former Union Finance Minister, P Chidambaram, dropped in at the state secretariat Nabanna and had a 35-minute meeting with Ms Mamata Banerjee. Adhir Chowdhury, a five-time party Lok Sabha MP from Murshidabad’s Baharampur constituency, was defeated by the Trinamool Congress’s celebrity candidate and former Indian cricketer Yusuf Pathan.

Mr Chowdhury’s acrimonious relations with Ms Banerjee is well-known and his strong opposition to have any truck with the TMC in West Bengal is believed to have come in the way of the INDIA bloc putting up an united fight against the BJP in the state. News about Mr Chowdhury’s differences with the party’s high command has been doing the rounds for quite some time over the issue of the party’s relationship with the Trinamool.

Adhir Chowdhury has always been vocal about his views on having an electoral understanding with the CPM-led Left Front. His differences with Mallikarjun Kharge also surfaced during the Lok Sabha polls. Ms Banerjee, who has come to power in Bengal only after eliminating the CPM which ruled over the state for 34 years, is naturally diametrically opposed to Mr Chowdhury’s views on the having any truck with the CPM.

This could also be the reason why Ms Banerjee is keen to campaign for Ms Priyanka Gandhi in Wayanad in Kerala where her main rival could be a CPM nominee. The move also sends a strong signal that all is well between the Trinamool Congress and the INDIA alliance following the pre-election acrimony.

The Trinamool Congress sources said that not only is Ms Banerjee willing to campaign for Ms Gandhi, but she had also suggested during an INDIA alliance meeting last December that the Congress leader should contest against the Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Varanasi – an idea that has also been floated within the Congress as early as 2019.

Ms Gandhi will be fighting from Wayanad when a bypoll is held there, after Rahul Gandhi decided to vacate the seat and retain the family bastion of Rae Bareli. He had won the Wayanad constituency for the second time, by a margin of 3.6 lakh votes.

While Ms Banerjee and the Gandhis are known to share a close bond, Mr Chowdhury’s acerbic and often personal barbs at the chief minister have been a source of friction between the Trinamool and the Congress. They were also seen as a factor behind her decision to go it alone in West Bengal in the Lok Sabha elections – a move that paid off, with the Trinamool fending off an all-out challenge by the BJP and winning 29 of the state’s 42 constituencies. The sources said the “Adhir issue” has now been resolved and that the Trinamool had told the Congress that he would lose his seat.

Ahead of the Parliament session starting on Monday, which will see the opposition at its strongest since 2014, the sources said the Bengal Chief Minister has also sought better coordination among members of the INDIA alliance, who have won 232 Lok Sabha seats between them. Signs of this happening have already begun, with the Trinamool, the Congress and the DMK opposing the implementation of the three new criminal laws – Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita and the Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam, which will replace the Indian Penal Code, the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Indian Evidence Act, respectively. The opposition has claimed that the laws were passed without consultation during the Monsoon session of Parliament last year, when over 140 MPs were suspended.

In a letter to the Prime Minister on Friday, Ms Banerjee pushed for a fresh review of the laws by Parliament. “The outgoing government of yours had passed these three critical bills unilaterally, and with absolutely no debate. That day, almost 100 members of the Lok Sabha had been suspended and a total 146 MPs of the both Houses were thrown out of Parliament,” Ms Banerjee wrote, adding that the three bills were passed in an “authoritarian manner” in a “dark hour of democracy.”

Chandigarh MP and senior Congress leader Manish Tewari has also hit out at the government over the implementation of the laws. “The new criminal laws that come into effect from July 1st 2024 lay the foundations of turning India into a Police State. Their implementation must be stopped forthwith and Parliament must re-examine them,” he posted on X.

Another issue that the opposition is likely to try and corner the government over is the NEET and NET exam fiasco. Protests have erupted across the country over irregularities in NEET and the cancellation of the UGC-NET, both of which are conducted by the Central government constituted National Testing Agency (NTA).



Your email address will not be published.

Join our WhatsApp Channel

And stay informed with the latest news and updates.

Join Now
revoi whats app qr code