Udayavni Special

Rifts within Congress ahead of West Bengal elections


Team Udayavani, Mar 2, 2021, 4:05 PM IST

Kolkata: West Bengal Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury has hit out at his colleague Anand Sharma over his criticism of its tie-up with the Indian Secular Front, accusing him of “undermining” the party’s interest by making remarks “in tune with the BJP’s agenda”.

Sharma had on Monday slammed Congress’ association with the ISF led by Muslim cleric Abbas Siddiqui in West Bengal, contending that it was against the “Gandhian and Nehruvian secularism” and the party cannot be selective in fighting “communalists”.

In a series of tweets, an infuriated Chowdhury did not mince words in flaying Sharma, a former union minister and a leader of the group of 23 which had written to Congress president Sonia Gandhi demanding organisational overhaul.

“Know ur [email protected] ji. CPI(M)-led Left Front is leading the secular alliance in West Bengal, of which Congress is an integral part. We are determined to defeat BJP’s communal & divisive politics and an autocratic regime,” he tweeted late on Monday night.

“@INCIndia has got its full share of seats. Left Front is allocating seats from its share to the newly-formed Indian Secular Front-ISF. Ur choice to call the decision of CPM-led front ‘communal’ is only serving the polarising agenda of BJP,” Chowdhury said.

Sharma had also sought clarification from Chowdhury for attending the joint rally in Kolkata where ISF leaders were present, alleging that his presence and endorsement was “painful and shameful”.

The West Bengal Congress chief in reply said: “Those who are committed to fighting against #BJP parties venomous communalism should support the Congress & campaign for the party in five states rather than attempting to undermine the party by remarks in tune with BJP’s agenda.”

“Would urge a select group of distinguished Congressmen to rise above always seeking personal comfort spots & stop wasting time singing praises of PM. They owe a duty to strengthen the Party & not undermine the tree that nurtured them,” Chowdhury added.

The Congress-Left Front-ISF has forged a ‘Sayunkta Morcha’ (united front) to take on the ruling Trinamool Congress and the BJP in the assembly elections, the first phase of which will begin on March 27.

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