While senior Congress leaders such as Kapil Sibal and Shashi Tharoor are ecstatic with the TMC victory and BJP loss in West Bengal, senior Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury found the elections where Congress could not even open its account a deeply ‘humiliating loss’.
In an exclusive interview with the Indian Express, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury pondered upon the things that went wrong for the party in the West Bengal assembly elections and urged it to ‘come out of Twitter and Facebook’. Reflecting on the poll debacle, Chowdhury admitted that there is a need for change in the functioning.
Deflated by the stinging defeat in West Bengal, Chowdhury said that he cannot expect any “bright prospects in this present situation”.
Congress needs to come out of online world to the real world: Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury
“So if the Congress is able to put forth its point more vigorously and not confine itself to Twitter or WhatsApp but hit the streets in support of common people… otherwise this opportunity also will be lost. We should hit the streets because there’s no dearth of issues and people are suffering a lot,” Adhir said about the road ahead for the Congress party.
Talking about what resulted in the rout of the Congress party in West Bengal, Adhir held the party’s rudderless approach in the elections being one of them. “The TMC wanted to retain power and the BJP wanted to wrest power. We did not have such stakes, our fight was for survival,” he said.
Chowdhury also rued about how the Muslim population in the state abandoned the Congress party and rallied behind Mamata Banerjee. He said Mamata Banerjee was successful in exploiting the situation in Bengal and convincing Muslims that she is their only saviour.
The senior Congress leader also talked about the opportunistic alliance between the Congress party and the Left. He admitted that the likelihood of some Left cadres shifting their allegiance to the TMC could not be denied. He said, “The Muslim vote went to Trinamool and the Hindu vote went to the BJP. For us, there is nothing left.”
Absence of Rahul Gandhi from the election hustings demoralised the cadres: Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury
On being asked if the Congress high command abandoned its support to the West Bengal Congress unit, Chowdhury said that the morale of the party workers had taken a hit after Rahul Gandhi stopped organising rallies and election meets in the state. It gave the TMC, Adhir argued, an opportunity to “humiliate” the West Bengal Congress unit.
“We have been decimated by Mamata Banerjee regionally, we have been decimated by Modiji nationally. The BJP is the threat for us nationally and Mamata Banerjee is the threat for us regionally. So where should we go?” Adhir wondered on the lack of support from the central leadership of the Congress party.
When asked about his future plans, a despondent Adhir replied: “Nothing. I have been defeated in a humiliating manner. At this point, you may call me an ex-MP. If the results give any indication, certainly I have become an ex-MP.”
Adhir also lauded BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma, stating that it was Sarma who made the difference in Assam and enabled BJP victory in the state assembly elections.
Ready to resign from the West Bengal Congress President post of AICC decides so: Chowdhury
Responding to the question of whether he is going to resign after such a humiliating loss, Adhir said that he had never wanted to be the President of the West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee but on Sonia Gandhi’s insistence, he accepted the post. He said he is comfortable with whatever AICC decides and is ready take on the responsibility of whatever is asked of him.
The Congress party and the Left suffered an embarrassing defeat in the West Bengal state elections as the alliance failed to attract voters to vote for them. The Congress had a vote share of 2.94 per cent and polled 1,757,148, not winning a single seat out of the 292-member assembly seats.