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regular-article-logo Thursday, 18 July 2024

I am the temporary state Congress president, says Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury

The statement of the former five-term Baharampur MP, who tasted his first defeat in the hands of Trinamool this time, triggered speculation that he would soon be replaced as Bengal Congress chief

Snehamoy Chakraborty Calcutta Published 22.06.24, 07:12 AM
Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury.

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury. File picture

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Friday called himself the “temporary” president of the Bengal unit of the Congress, adding the party would get its new state unit chief soon.

“I am the temporary state Congress president. Since Mallikarjun Kharge became the party’s national president, no state president has been appointed across the country. You will come to know the name of a permanent state Congress president soon when it is announced,” Chowdhury told journalists here after a meeting of the extended state committee, convened to review the party’s performance in the recent Lok Sabha polls, in which it won only one Bengal seat.

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The statement of the former five-term Baharampur MP, who tasted his first defeat in the hands of Trinamool this time, triggered speculation that he would soon be replaced as Bengal Congress chief.

However, sources close to Chowdhury said he merely meant that new Congress national presidents appoint state presidents anew, which Kharge has not since assuming charge in 2022 in the run-up to the 2024 general election.

“A mountain is being made of a molehill,” said a source.

Chowdhury later said: “I am the state president. There is no question of resignation.”

“Yes, I said I am the temporary state Congress president, like all my counterparts across the country,” he added.

After the meeting, the Congress’s Bengal minder Ghulam Ahmad Mir said the Bengal unit chief would be decided following talks with stakeholders.

“New faces are coming up in the organisation across the nation,” said Mir, adding that the Bengal unit of the party would soon send a review report on the poll performance to the Congress high command.

Chowdhury said everyone at the meeting unanimously agreed on Congress leader Rahul Gandhi as the leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and Kharge personally overseeing Bengal's party organisation and making the necessary changes therein.

Chowdhury had said publicly that chief minister Mamata Banerjee succeeded in her mission to defeat him. Since his defeat, questions have arisen on his political future, especially as his rigid stance against any truck with Mamata and his pact with the Left in Bengal led to poll debacles for both the Congress and the CPM here. Poll data analysis suggests a united fight by INDIA in Bengal would have cost the BJP at least six seats out of the 12 it won.

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