Adhir calls for Congress’ revival in Bengal, attacks Mamata

Kolkata, Feb 13: Admitting the Congress was weak in West Bengal, its new state unit chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury Thursday called for reviving the party as he attacked the ruling Trinamool Congress calling it a “single leader outfit”.

Addressing his first public rally in the city after his elevation, Chowdhury tried to inspire the workers even as he cautioned that the road ahead was full of hardship.

“We know we are weak in Bengal, we may be weak but we are not insignificant. I don’t expect instant results, it will be long fight and the road ahead is full of hardships and difficulties,” said Chowdhury, who is also the minister of state for railways.

Known for his antipathy to the Trinamool Congress and its leader Mamata Banerjee, Chowdhury, an MP from Baharampur in Murshidabad, was named the state party president Monday.

He also hit out the Trinamool for dubbing the Congress a “mere signboard” in Bengal.

“Those who think they have made the Congress a mere signboard, must not forget that our party has seen many ups and downs, a single defeat will not destroy us. But a single defeat will eliminate Trinamool’s existence,” said Chowdhury amid loud cheers from a modest crowd outside the party’s city headquarters.

“Trinamool is all about Mamata Banerjee. Without her, the party has no existence. While for the other leaders, it’s a game of musical chairs… nobody knows when he will lose his chair,” he quipped.

He also accused the Trinamool of using money and muscle power to stifle the common man’s voice.

Calling upon party workers to work for the masses to strengthen the party base in the state, Chowdhury said: “We love to swim against the tide, we are not like those who stand on the bank and only dream about the future.”

Speaking on the occasion, veteran MP Somen Mitra, who recently switched allegiance back to Congress, said the party by making Chowdhury the state president has put an end to speculation about the party about forging an alliance with former ally Trinamool.

“Some people have been speculating about a probable alliance with the Trinamool, but I thank the party for ending those speculations by making him the president,” said Mitra, who like Chowdhury, is a known Mamata baiter.

The Congress in the state was going through troubled times, with the Trinamool repeatedly poaching on its leaders and workers. Four Congress legislators have switched allegiance to the Trinamool, while two others cross-voted in favour of the ruling party nominee in last week’s Rajya Sabha polls.

IANS