Ahead of the upcoming polls in West Bengal, the Congress party has joined hands with rabid Islamist forces in the State. With an eye to gain political mileage and strengthen its hold over the Muslim vote bank, it has allied with Pirzada Abbas Siddiqui’s Indian Secular Front (ISF). The Congress party yields have a strong influence in Muslim-dominated areas of Malda, Murshidabad, and North Dinajpur in North Bengal. And the addition of Abbas Siddiqui to the political alliance will help win over young Muslim voters in South Bengal.
This is despite the fact that Abbas Siddiqui has exhibited his radical Islamist views in the past. During the outbreak of the deadly Coronavirus in the world, a video of Abbas Siddiqui shot on February 26 last year had gone viral on social media. He was seen addressing a large gathering of followers and praying to Allah to kill 50 crore Indians with the virus. Siddiqui’s incendiary rhetoric, fear-mongering and calls for ‘divine intervention’ for the death of Hindus have been conveniently ignored by the Congress party.
The decision triggered a social media backlash, with senior Congress leader Anand Sharma criticising the alliance.“Congress’ alliance with parties like ISF and other such forces militates against the core ideology of the party and Gandhian and Nehruvian secularism, which forms the soul of the party. These issues need to be approved by the CWC (Congress Working Committee),” Sharma said. He further added, “Congress cannot be selective in fighting communalists but must do so in all its manifestations, irrespective of religion and colour. The presence and endorsement West Bengal PCC President is painful and shameful, he must clarify.”
Congress sympathisers in the media divert public discourse to ‘Assam polls’
Amidst the social media backlash, journalists sympathetic to the Congress party took to social media to divert public attention from the party’s wrongdoings in West Bengal to its campaign in Assam. Journalist Rohini Singh tweeted, “Young leaders like Gaurav are campaigning hard for their party while some experienced, entitled leaders like Anand Sharma are busy attacking their own party in the midst of an election. Start contrast.”
While Rohini Singh desperately tried to sideline G23 rebel Congress leader Anand Sharma and promote Gaurav Gogoi, it must be pointed out that the latter, who is supposedly ‘not entitled’, is the son of the late Congress leader and former Assam CM Tarun Gogoi.
While hailing the supposed well-synchronised campaign of the grand old party, Rohini Singh said, “Out of all the states going into the election the Congress campaign in Assam seems to be it’s most well synchronised, focused one so far with all leaders working together smoothly. Too early to say how it would pan out given how formidable BJP is in the state.”
Congress loyalist Sanjukta Basu did not leave behind. She wrote, “Priyanka Gandhi is Assam, Rahul Gandhi in Tamil Nadu breaking internet, setting IT cells on fire.”
AAP Politician-turned-journalist Ashutosh wrote an article in Free Press Journal highlighting about Nehruvian ideals and how a BJP victory in both Assam and West Bengal will imply the end of it.
While Congress has been thriving on Muslim appeasement and has sided with Abbas Siddiqui, it is interesting to note that the party has refrained from allying with the Owaisi due to its ‘extreme rhetorics’.