Calcutta, June 30: The split in the state Congress is wide open, and not even Bidhan Chandra Roy can bridge it.
A day before the party celebrates the 125th birth anniversary of the “icon of industrialisation”, the Priya Ranjan Das Munshi faction has decided to boycott the programme at Bidhan Bhavan.
The move is to protest against the “humiliation” of the Union minister, who was apparently ignored in the campaign for the event.
Foreign minister Pranab Mukherjee will unveil a bronze bust of Roy at the Congress headquarters tomorrow morning. The programme is being organised under the banner of the Bidhan Chandra Roy Memorial Trust, which is chaired by former state Congress chief Somen Mitra, said to be Das Munshi’s arch-enemy.
“We have not been invited to tomorrow’s programme. Besides the party leadership didn’t mention Priyada’s name in the posters and leaflets being distributed across the state. This has sent a wrong signal to members across the state,” complained Abdul Mannan, a former Congress MLA from Hooghly.
Party general secretary Shankar Singh alleged that the “deliberate” snub had come at the behest of some leaders. “It is clear that the leadership is trying to create a division in the party to weaken the organisation,” he said.
Former mayor Subrata Mukherjee, too, criticised the manner in which the party was “belittling Priyada”. “If Pranabda’s name figures on the posters and leaflets, then why not Priyada’s' Is he not a central minister'” he asked.
However, state Congress working president Pradip Bhattacharya rubbished the allegation and said invitations had been sent to all functionaries. “We want each and every Congressman to be present at tomorrow’s programme.”
He said some leaders were unnecessarily creating a controversy. “It is immaterial whose names have appeared on the posters and leaflets. B.C. Roy is a leader for all of us and we should all pay homage to him. But what can we do if somebody tries to find reasons to spoil the occasion'”