New Delhi: The Congress in Bengal has opposed the support that the national leadership of the party provided to Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee who had sat on a dharna earlier this week to protest against the CBI’s action against the Kolkata police chief.
Senior leader and former Pradesh Congress president of West Bengal, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury had openly criticised Mamata Banerjee for protesting against the CBI action and “siding with the corrupt” who looted crores of money of the poor people in Bengal in the chit fund scam. Chowdhury’s stand was in sharp contrast to that of Congress president Rahul Gandhi who sided with Mamata Banerjee on the issue.
In a video recording, Chowdhury has called Mamata Banerjee’s dharna as “drama” and said, “I would have been happy if she had staged a dharna for the people whose money had been looted by these chit fund companies (Shardha, Rose Valley) and if she had sided with the people who were affected by this scam.”
He also attacked Mamata Banerjee for the dharna she is likely to hold in Delhi from next week. He also went to the extent of demanding President’s Rule in the state and said, “Was this dharna staged just to save a police officer? Is she wanting to position herself as a national leader who could take on the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre by organising this dharna in Delhi?”
OmPrakash Mishra, senior Pradesh Congress leader from West Bengal, also questioned Mamata Banerjee over her dharna. Speaking to The Sunday Guardian he said, “Why was Mamata Banerjee doing a dharna to save a police officer? What did she have to hide? We did not see her doing a dharna to save her own party members like Madan Mitra, Sudip Bandopadhyay and Tapas Paul when they were arrested, but all this for a police officer? The timing of the dharna is also to be questioned, because she wanted the limelight to be on her on a day when a massive rally was being organised at the Brigade Parade Ground by the Left. It was also the same day when Rahul Gandhi was addressing a huge rally in Patna.”
All this comes at a time when the national leadership of the Congress is seeking a grand alliance in which they want Mamata Banerjee to be a part to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party, but according to Congress sources in Bengal, a large section of the Congress unit is opposed to this alliance and would be unhappy if such an arithmetic is worked out in Bengal.
The Sunday Guardian had also earlier reported that a majority of the Congress unit of Bengal does not want an alliance with the TMC in the state, and would rather join hands with the Left for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
A section of the Congress unit of Bengal is still sticking to this demand and has also communicated their stand to the national leadership in Delhi.
A source in the Bengal unit of the Congress said, “We do not want to be part of the tyrannical rule of Mamata Banerjee in Bengal and this has been well communicated to the party high command. We do not know what the central leadership is doing or wanting; all we know is that in Bengal the alliance is not going to happen.”
The keenness of the national leadership of the Congress to forge an alliance with the TMC was the reason why Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury was removed as the PCC president of Bengal, as he was a vocal critic of Mamata Banerjee and Somen Mitra who is considered to be close to Mamata Banerjee. Mitra was brought in as the president of the Bengal unit of the Congress last year.