Congress Vs Congress: Anand Sharma hits out at Adhir Chowdhury over Bengal alliance
New Delhi/IBNS: Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma on Monday publicly went against the party's West Bengal strategy and said an alliance with the ISF (Indian Secular Front) and similar parties "goes against its core ideology".
This comes after the Left, Congress and ISF came together at the Brigade rally in Kolkata on Sunday which was marked by tension within the alliance.
Even before the brigade rally, the rift between the Congress and ISF over the seat-sharing deal was seen as the United Front is yet to finalise the pact for the upcoming polls, which will begin on Mar 27.
The rift between the ISF and Congress was evident when Furfura Sharif cleric Abbas Siddiqui during his speech acknowledged the Left parties and indirectly slammed the grand old party, represented by Lok Sabha MP Adhir Chowdhury in the state.
Visuals from the rally showed that Adhir Chowdhury wanted to leave the dais as Abbas came up leading to a massive cheer from the ISF supporters.
Reacting to the same, the Congress dissident group said the party's Bengal wing should have consulted the Congress Working Committee (CWC) before forming such an 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," Anand Sharma said in a tweet.
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.— Anand Sharma (@AnandSharmaINC) March 1, 2021
He said Congress cannot be selective in fighting the communalist forces and that should be reflected in all manifestations, irrespective of religion and colour.
In clear rift within the Congress party, Sharma even went on to criticise Adhir Chowdhury, who serves as president of West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee.
"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 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.— Anand Sharma (@AnandSharmaINC) March 1, 2021
Earlier after the rally, Abbas had once again indirectly attacked Chowdhury saying, "Sonia Gandhi (Congress interim national president) may want the alliance but someone in the state is causing a delay. I think after this statement, things will be sorted out within a few days."
Responding to Abbas' allegation, Chowdhury, who represents the Baharampur constituency in West Bengal, said, "Congress' deal is taking place with the Left. We have no idea about anyone else. First we should know the number of seats we are fighting in, then we can think about sharing with any other party."
The Left parties and Congress will hold a meeting on Monday to resolve the deadlock that occurred over the alliance with ISF in less than a month the West Bengal polls begin.
While the Left has conceded 30 seats to the ISF, Abbas wants some more from the Congress.
Reportedly, the ISF wants to contest in districts Murshidabad and Malda, the only place in West Bengal where Congress is a dominant force, leading to a deadlock in the alliance.
In this context, India Blooms has learnt a meeting is set to be taking place at the CPI-M headquarters at Alimuddin Street here sometime between afternoon and evening.
Images: Facebook pages of Anand Sharma and Adhir Chowdhury; Brigade dais image: Screenshot grab from video