Bengal Congress in Disarray

Even as the Congress gears itself up for the next general elections at the national level, regaining a good deal of its elan under Rahul Gandhi’s leadership, its West Bengal unit is sinking deeper into internecine quarrels and organizational dystrophy. Many senior leaders of the Pradesh Congress do not see eye to eye with the PCC president and usually stay away from meetings called by him. The differences between the party chief and the chief of the party’s legislative wing are well known. Two of the party’s traditional strongholds, Murshidabad and Maldah, are caving in, with most local leaders deserting the party and joining the Trinamool Congress. Even in Murshidabad district which is known to be PCC chief Adhir Chowdhury’s fort, the TMC has practically swallowed up the organization. The situation is equally bad in the late Ghani Khan Chowdhury’s Maldah district. The buzz in the TMC circles is that many of the legislators and local leaders of the party in the two districts will formally join in the TMC in the scheduled rally of the TMC on July 21 in Kolkata.
To revamp the West Bengal unit, Rahul Gandhi recently changed the AICC ‘Observer’ for West Bengal, P. C. Joshi, and gave the responsibility to the much younger and inexperienced Gaurav Gogoi, son of the former Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi. But things do not seem to have improved much even after the change. The legislative wing chief, Abdul Mannan, is reportedly ‘avoiding’ meeting Gogoi. While at the national level both Sonia and Rahul are in favour of TMC being part of the larger opposition unity the Congress is trying to build, the West Bengal leaders of the party have made known their intention to stick to the alliance with the CPI-M. Ironically, the Bengal CPI-M is all for alliance with the Congress, while the Kerala party is still in favour of a no-truck-with-Congress policy.
In West Bengal, both the CPI-M and the Congress are not only losing election after election, even their vote percentage is steadily falling even as both the parties get organizationally weaker by the day. Both parties consider the BJP and the TMC to be their main adversaries in West Bengal and contrary to all facts, would have the people believe that Mamata Banerjee’s unrelenting opposition to the BJP is just a show to hoodwink the people. If the State Congress and the CPI-M do not accept the reality, both may be wiped out in the next elections, leaving the BJP the sole opposition in the State.

Thursday, 5 July, 2018