Some members of the Hailakandi Congress unit are pushing for the appointment of a minority leader as the district party president, replacing former legislator Rahul Roy, after the party’s dismal performance in the recent panchayat election.
The Congress failed to open its account in the 11-member Hailakandi zilla parishad, while the AIUDF won six seats, the BJP four and the AGP one. The Congress had won seven of the 11 seats in the 2013 rural polls.
All the three Assembly constituencies in the district were won by the AIUDF in 2016. Six-time Congress MLA Gautam Roy was defeated from Katlicherra.
Rahul, also a former chairman of the Hailakandi zilla parishad, is Gautam’s son.
Gautam resigned from the post of chairman of the Congress core committee in the district after the panchayat poll results were declared.
Former zilla parishad chairman Anam Uddin Laskar and PCC member Hilal Uddin Laskar are spearheading the movement against Rahul Roy for his “non-popularity among the minority community”. They feel the district Congress president should be from the minority community and termed Rahul’s appointment as continuation of the “family hierarchy”. They alleged that minority supporters of the Congress voted for the AIUDF because of lack of leadership by Rahul. Anam Uddin, leading a group of dissident members from the minority community, has been demanding Rahul’s ouster since last year.
Anam Uddin, who fought the Assembly elections from Hailakandi in 2016 on a Congress ticket, had lost. The AIUDF won the seat.
Sources said the PCC is considering appointing Gautam as the district Congress president temporarily to pacify the dissidents.
Rahul had said on Tuesday that he was ready to quit. “ I don’t want to work like a rubber stamp,” he said. He cited multiple reasons, including corruption in the zilla parishad in the last five years, for the party’s defeat. He did not rule out sabotage by party workers, especially in minority pockets, in order to malign him and denied distribution of tickets in lieu of favours.