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regular-article-logo Sunday, 23 June 2024

Mallikarjun Kharge's jab doesn't soften Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Mamata Banerjee

Congress president had disowned Behrampore MP’s remark that Mamata is untrustworthy and could always end up siding with BJP

Our Special Correspondent Calcutta Published 20.05.24, 05:55 AM
(right) Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury

(right) Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury File picture

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury continued to stand his ground on his militant opposition to Mamata Banerjee, a day after his boss, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, publicly embarrassed him with a statement that favoured her and was obliquely critical of him.

“My job as a good soldier is to save my party in Bengal from the person who has been out on a mission to obliterate it here after ascending to power as our ally, with our mercy, in 2011,” said Chowdhury, the Congress state unit chief and a Mamata baiter.

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Kharge, on Saturday, had snubbed Chowdhury, also the leader of the Congress in the 17th Lok Sabha, while responding to a question on Mamata. He had disowned the Behrampore MP’s remark that she is untrustworthy and could always end up siding with the BJP.

“The fight here is of the oppressed against the oppressor. She is the oppressor. If she can say there is INDIA in Delhi but not in Bengal, why can’t I say exactly the same? I don’t want to heed who is saying what, where, on this. Our realities here are for us to deal with, on our own,” said Chowdhury, who had on Saturday reminded Kharge that he too was an AICC and CWC member, part of the high-command (whose punitive action the Congress chief had seemingly threatened him with).

Chowdhury was the architect-in-chief of a seat-sharing deal with the Left in Bengal that is contesting this general election against both Mamata and the BJP in Bengal.

The deal was finalised after inordinate delays in finalising the seat-sharing deal between the Congress and Trinamool displeased Mamata to an extent that she pulled the plug on the INDIA bloc in Bengal.

“I will not, I will not, I will not be part of any alliance or understanding with Mamata Banerjee in Bengal. I owe it to my party, as an uncompromising Congress loyalist,” Chowdhury added.

Chowdhury’s fierce resistance to any understanding with Mamata in Bengal went a long way in the Congress dragging its feet with regard to Mamata earlier this year. However, the Congress high command’s public statements, even during aggressive attacks by the Bengal chief minister, have been placatory towards her.

Chowdhury has said on a number of occasions that Mamata’s recent, apparent softening of her stand towards INDIA, and her repeated public claims of her being an integral part of the anti-BJP alliance, was indicative of her realisation that the BJP was in the process of being voted out from the Centre.

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