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Bengal Congress chief Somen Mitra hints at party rejig after Lok Sabha poll debacle

Bengal Congress chief Somen Mitra hints at party rejig after Lok Sabha poll debacle

Souvik Ghosh/IBNS | @indiablooms | 08 Jun 2019, 03:30 pm

Kolkata, Jun 8 (IBNS): After conceding the opposition space to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) largely in the Lok Sabha polls in West Bengal, party's state president Somen Mitra on Saturday hinted at a possible rejig in the outfit.

Addressing his party workers besides felicitating the two elected Congress MPs from West Bengal, Mitra said: "We will hold a meeting on Jun 15 and take certain calls. We will have to take calls on certain people who are holding on to their posts without performance."

In an unprecedented performance in the state, the BJP has thrown a serious challenge to the Trinamool Congress (TMC) by winning 18 Lok Sabha seats. Failing to stitch an alliance with the Left, the Congress ended up winning just two, an equal number of seats less than the 2014 Lok Sabha polls tally.

However, Mitra believes people have voted in favour of the BJP to vent their anger against West Bengal's ruling party TMC, which has won 22 seats in the polls. "People voted for the BJP to express themselves as the anti-administration. But if we create a formidable alternative, those people will again vote for us," said the state Congress chief.

Mitra also expressed his concern over the BJP's meteoric rise in the state as he believes the Lok Sabha poll results reflect a religious polarisation. "The Lok Sabha Elections 2019 has shattered our age-old belief in secularism. Our defeat is alarming for all of us," said the senior politician, who was also a TMC man in the past.

While the Left has been wiped out of the state in this polls with a mere vote share of seven per cent, Congress' Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and Abu Hasem Khan Choudhury held their bastions, Berhampore and Malda Dakshin respectively.

Despite stressing on the importance of an alliance with the Left in the state, Mitra urged his party workers to strengthen organisation and create a mass outreach.

"We wanted an alliance with the Left in 2019. It didn't happen. It happens. Politics is not static but dilute. We will keep trying to stitch an alliance with Left in the future. But only an alliance won't ensure our success. We will have to re-establish connection with people and strengthen our organisation," Mitra said almost setting an agenda for the 2021 state assembly elections.

West Bengal Congress in-charge Gaurav Gogoi and senior party leader Pradip Bhattacharya were also present at the felicitation ceremony. For some urgent work, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury could not attend the ceremony.

(Images by Avishek Mitra/IBNS)