Bengal Congress in shambles? Party divided over forging an alliance with Mamata Banerjee for 2019

Cracks seem to have appeared in Bengal unit of Congress over whether to ally with Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress in the upcoming 2019 elections. A certain section of the leaders, who believe joining hands with Banerjee would give them a better chance, are keen on the tie-up while Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary, Bengal Congress president and others are against the idea as it will be ‘committing suicide’ to forge this alliance.

Recently, many senior leaders from Congress have defected and joined the TMC, claiming Congress is waning in Bengal. All India Congress Committee (AICC) secretary Mainul Hague, Congress MLA from Murshidabad joined TMC claiming atrocities committed by TMC does not let him carry out any developmental work. He also said he has had been threatened that unless he joins the ruling party, it will not be possible for him to carry out his work as well. He also claimed lack of coordination among top leaders in Bengal Congress.

Mainul Hague along with Abu Hasem Khan Chowdhury, Congress MP from Malda South and the brother of former Congress stalwart Ghani Khan Chowdhury met TMC secretary-general Partha Chatterjee recently to talk of possibilities of forming a grand alliance in the state on lines of proposed central model to take on the BJP and contain their seats in upcoming general elections. However, the move did not go down too well with Bengal Congress leadership who are not in favour of an alliance with the TMC.

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Meanwhile, state Congress General Secretary Om Prakash Mishra has urged Congress and the Left parties to come together to fight the ‘murder of democracy’ by ruling TMC in state and the ‘communal agenda’ set by the BJP. Coming down heavily on the Trinamool, he said its “brutal and repressive measures” in “connivance” with police and administration against the opposition in the state was designed “to weaken Congress and Left parties and to indirectly encourage the BJP to fill the political space forcibly vacated”.

Recently, during his two-day visit to Bengal, BJP President Amit Shah had challenged West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee to first handle the state before attempting to handle the ‘mahagathbanthan’.

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