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Malda Four resign from Cong
Hint of top brass joining Trinamul

Malda, May 25: A district Congress vice-president and three general secretaries have resigned from the party and many more are threatening to do the same as the sway of the Khan Chowdhurys takes a beating in Malda.

All the four top-rung leaders, highly critical of the way the party is being run in Malda, particularly by the Khan Chowdhurys of Kotwali, are planning to join the Trinamul Congress.

They have alleged that A.B.A. Ghani Khan Chowdhury’s legacy has been ignored by his surviving family members. The Khan Chowdhurys have two Congress MPs and two MLAs in the family. While district Congress president Abu Hashem Khan Chowdhury is the MP from Malda South, his son Isha Khan is a newly elected MLA.

Abu Hashem’s brother Abu Naser is the MLA from Sujapur. Their niece Mausam Noor is the MP from Malda North.

On Sunday, district Congress vice-president Ashim Maitra had sent in his resignation to district president Abu Hashem.

In the next two days three influential general secretaries of the party, Hasan Ali Shah, Netai Ghosh and Fazlur Rehman resigned. Sources close to them said they would join Trinamul, decision that has been taken after discussions with Sabitri Mitra, minister and party MLA from Manikchak.

Maitra was not hesitant to take a dig at Kotwali.

“The present leadership has drifted from the ideals set by Barkatda (Ghani Khan). We cannot remain in the Congress any longer under the present situation. There are no movements, no effort to stand by party workers in times of need. Also, there is no talk about the lack of development in the district. Winning elections is the only big thing for them,” he said without naming district president Abu Hashem.

The three general secretaries too were highly critical of the district party president. “Those running the show are not knowledgeable and survive on sycophancy, there is no place for leaders who have the right to run the party. It is because of this that people like Gautam Chakrabarty and Sabitri Mitra joined Trinamul. Chakrabarty lost because of a dummy candidate fielded by our party in Malatipur facilitating a win for the RSP. Sabitri switched to Trinamul and won and she is now a minister in Mamata Banerjee’s cabinet. We are not getting the right respect from the party leadership and that is why we have left the Congress,” said Hasan Ali Shah.

The Khan Chowdhurys’ residence in Malda. File picture

Sources in the breakaway camp said Mitra’s selection as minister (in charge of the department of women and social welfare) had acted as a catalyst for the resignations. She is supposed to reach Malda tomorrow and formally induct these leaders into Trinamul.

“The people of Malda have elected two MPs from Kotwali. Two years have gone by and they are yet to deliver. Dalubabu has been an MP for five years now. He has done nothing. Instead, the Congress in the district has sunk down to favouritism and corruption. Both the MPs are either in Delhi or Calcutta. They are also not available on the phone. There are some sycophants who tell us to first speak to them before contacting Dalubabu. Can the party be run in this way? The Congress could win eight seats because of the wind of change that had been blowing. The district Congress has no credit for the victories,” said Rehman.

Abu Hashem, however, tried to put up a brave front when asked about the erosion.

“Those who are leaving the Congress have no public presence, they were our burden. If they go the party will not suffer. The people of Malda know them well enough, they are nothing but opportunists and that is why they are queuing up to join Trinamul,” he said.

He said if the Congress had no presence in the district, “how did eight MLAs win?”

“They have done nothing and are now blaming others. They have no support base. Malda will forever remain a strong Congress bastion.”

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