August 29, 2021 4:11:28 am
THE CONGRESS alliance with the Left is intact and talks with the alliance partners would begin as soon as the date of the bypolls are announced, state Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said on Saturday. In that case, the matter of not fielding a candidate against Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Bhabanipur would also come up for discussion, sources in the Congress said.
Chowdhury, the state Congress chief, was addressing a gathering in Kolkata on the foundation day of the party’s student wing Chhatra Parishad. “There might be victory or loss in polls but that shouldn’t be reflected in the mindset of the activists. We have been defeated but haven’t fled the battlefield or been vanquished,” he added.
The Congress leader in Lok Sabha recalled the role played by the Chhatra Parishad in students’ movements to protect democracy in the country. “The Chhatra Parishad has always fought against communalism and stood for secularism,” he added.
The Congress, which had ruled the state before the Left Front came to power in 1977, drew a blank in the elections to the 294-member Assembly held earlier this year..
Congress MP Pradeep Bhattacharya, however, questioned the Trinamool’s position in opposing the decision to dissolve state-owned enterprises. Bhattacharya also said the Congress has now been “weakened” but would take to the streets with renewed vigour and target the Centre on several issues.
The leader of the Congress parliamentary party claimed that “crores of students” have dropped out of school due to the Covid-induced lockdown and the “digital divide”. He pointed out that although there is antipicipation about the the by-elections, “everyone knows what happened amid the Covid situation after the Assemby elections earlier this year.
He said the commission should take a decision only after talking to experts. However, the position of the Congress regarding the by-elections was not fully clarified even today.
Former student leader of the Congress Amitabha Chakraborty strongly protested against the exclusion of Rabindranath Tagore and Mahasweta Devi from the English syllabus of Delhi University syllabus. Neeraj Kundan, all-India president of the Congress student body, and former state president Shubhankar Sarkar and former MLA Asit Mitra were present on the occasion.
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