NEW DELHI: The Congress high command and its Bengal unit appeared divided over the CBI vs Didi drama under way in Kolkata, as party chief Rahul Gandhi supported West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee while state leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury favoured removal of her government.
“I don’t know what is the AICC’s view on this. I want President’s rule in the state,” Chowdhury said.
The comment came a day after Rahul backed Mamata’s move to support detention of CBI officers who had gone to question Kolkata police chief Rajeev Kumar in the Saradha chit fund scam. Rahul claimed that the happenings in Bengal were a part of the unrelenting attack on India’s institutions by PM Modi and the BJP, adding that the opposition will defeat the fascist forces together.
Adhir, a former West Bengal Congress chief, is a known Mamata baiter and has been consistently taking pot shots at her, as well as being stridently opposed to entering into any poll alliance with the TMC for the Lok Sabha polls.
Chowdhury blamed both the TMC and the BJP over the CBI vs Didi controversy saying the ruling parties in the state and the Centre were hand in glove. “Both are trying to help each other,” he said.
Congress insiders said Chowdhury was only articulating the sentiment prevalent among the state unit, including incumbent state unit chief Somen Mitra. The grand old party has been consistently losing lawmakers to TMC, with Mausam Noor being the latest.
The local unit of the Congress prefers to fight the coming national polls on its own strength, just like in Uttar Pradesh. Sources said Rahul’s absence at the recent opposition conclave in Kolkata was meant to send across the message that the Congress may be going it alone in Bengal. However, they added that the Congress president did write to the Bengal CM extending his full support.