Making Junior Railway Minister and Mamata-baiter Adhir Chowdhury the WBPCC President is a clear signal from the Congress that the party will take to Trinamool in the coming Lok Sabha polls. He replaces the party’s moderate face Pradip Bhattacharya, who still had some time left for the chair.
Adhir, an adept organiser, has a tough challenge ahead. He would have to face two pronged attack from left and Trinamool. One way he has to defend his seat in Berhampore ,which is no longer safe as it was before, and on the other he faces a stiff task to revitalize the party that is bleeding in South Bengal.
A drop-out from school at the age of 15, he joined Congress Party and in 1990 he was elected councillor in Berhampore Municipality, an MLA in 1996 and MP in 1998. He did not look back since then. Adhir is very aggressive and outspoken by nature and does not mince words on any topic whatsoever. Somen Mitra was the brain behind Ahdir’s rise in the politics. Adhir was chosen before senior Congressmen and was allotted an assembly ticket to fight against the left. Mamata Banerjee, then a Congressman and now the Chief Minister of Bengal fiercely opposed the decision and tried her best to keep him down. But he emerged victorious nonetheless. He has since then, kept his own constituency and Murshidabad district as a whole under his belt. He is an uncrowned king in Murshidabad.
Political experts feel that this move by the Congress High Command should have taken place long before. His induction as WBPCC President will encourage Congress supporters to assert their identify instead buckling under pressure. He has been honest and sincere to his political wills, to be fair to the man. The political opponents tried to gag him but his love and commitment to the people irrespective of political alliance has made him strong in his bastion.
The Congress Vice President, Rahul Gandhi insisted that Adhir, a comparatively young face, should lead Congress in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. He was the only fighting face in the Congress against the left regime and now against Trinamool anarchy. The left and Trinamool tried all-out to put him behind bars. He was arrested by both the left and Trinamool government but without success. Despite severe challenge from left he maintained his fort since late 90’s and gradually became the face of Congress in Bengal.
Now his thrust will be to check the erosion from the party and then repose faith on the Congress workers who have deserted them for some reason or the other. In the last six-months at least a dozen high-ranked leaders have dumped the party and joined Trinamool. The challenge is immense which he has described in his own words “I do not have any magic wand but I am a fighter and will fight to the tooth and nail to revive the party in Bengal“. He has also asserted that his prime goal would be to retain six parliamentary seats that the party won in 2009 Lok Sabha and then try to increase its margin.
2014 will be a testing time for Congress in the upcoming Parliamentary polls in India as a whole. Only time will tell which way the wind will blow. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.