Another big blow to Kotowali : Just two days after he was anointed district Congress chief, Abu Hasem Khan Choudhury removed from post

Report by: 
SOUMYA DE SARKAR
MALDA
5 Feb 2019

After defection of Malda north MP Mausam Noor to Trinamool Congress, ‘Kotowali house,’  today received a fresh blow with removal of Malda south MP AH Khan Choudhury (Dalu) from the post of district Congress president within 72 hours of his appointment. Issuing a press release on Monday, KC Venugopal, general secretary of All India Congress Committee (AICC) said that as per approval of party president Rahul Gandhi, Mostaque Alam, an MLA from Harischandrapur would be replacing Choudhury. Names of two working presidents were mentioned in the press release too. But neither Choudsury Dalu nor his son and Congress MLA Isha Khan Choudhury was nominated for the key-posts of party’s district unit.
A close analysis would reveal that none without the approval of Kotowali family, since the golden age of late Ghani Khan Choudhury could be the president of district Congress in Malda.
Sabitri Mitra, who joined Trinamool later and became a minister too, was the district Congress president despite not being a member of Kotowali family. It is believed that Ghani Khan’s trust in her brought her the post when the Congress was in a much better political position in the state.
But except Mitra, Mostaque Alam now becomes the first person to head the district Congress having no blood relation with Kotowali family after 40 years.
It should be mentioned that Dalu proposed himself to be the district Congress president referring to a letter from state Congress chief Somen Mitra on Feb 2 as the post was lying vacant since Noor’s departure on Jan 28.
Alam and Bhupendranath Haldar, a Congress MLA from Malda were proposed as working presidents.
However, AICC elevates Alam as the district president from working president. Haldar retains his position after the reshuffle. A Congress veteran Kalisadhan Roy has been offered the vacant position of another working president of district Congress.
Political observers believe that Alam has been made district Congress president to indirectly ensure Isha Khan Choudhury’s candidature in Malda north parliamentary seat where his sister Noor has already been fielded by Trinamool. Alam was one of the senior party leaders, who strongly pleaded for counting the opinion of local Congress workers about selection of party candidate. In a way, he was not happy when state Congress proposed young Khan Choudhury’s name as the prospective party candidate.
“Now, as Alam is already an MLA and district Congress president, he cannot claim candidature. Hence, in a way the block for Isha’s being a candidate has been removed intelligently by Rahul Gandhi,” said a senior district Congress leader.
However, there is a counter interpretation too. Some political observers said that Dalu was removed because he did not play a noteworthy role in enlivening the district party before. “He only carries legacy but has got no instance of strengthening the party organization. Rahul Gandhi has realized it and sent ‘perform or perish’ message to Kotowali. Banking on family legacy cannot be the politics of the day is what Rahulji has made clear,” said another Congress leader, who has a bitter relationship with Kotowali.
Dalu, however, did not get into any controversy. “Kotowali got political importance because of Ghani Khan. People still love him. So, Kotowali is still the centre of Congress politics,” he said.
Alam, the new district Congress president said that his priority would be to rejuvenate the party in Malda.