Congress hits out at TMC atrocities, CM ‘silence’ in West Bengalhttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/kolkata/congress-hits-out-at-tmc-atrocities-cm-silence-in-west-bengal-5491053/

Congress hits out at TMC atrocities, CM ‘silence’ in West Bengal

Addressing workers at a rally in Rani Rashmoni Avenue, party in-charge of West Bengal Gaurav Gogoi accused Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of maintaining a double standard.

Congress leader Adhir Chowdhury and state unit president Somen Mitra with others at Rani Rashmoni Avenue in Kolkata on Wednesday. (Subham Dutta)

State Congress leaders on Wednesday hit out at the Trinamool Congress for committing “atrocities” against party workers, during a rally in Kolkata to celebrate electoral triumphs in the Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh Vidhan Sabha elections.

Addressing workers at a rally in Rani Rashmoni Avenue, party in-charge of West Bengal Gaurav Gogoi accused Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of maintaining a double standard. “She meets Congress leaders with a smile and sweets in New Delhi, but in Bengal, Congress leaders and workers are subjected to TMC-sponsored atrocities. This is unacceptable. Our party high command is well aware of this double standard, which will not work politically,” he said.

The comments came days after the Opposition meeting in Delhi, which was attended by both Mamata and Congress president Rahul Gandhi.

Gogoi also also asked why Mamata did not give credit to Rahul Gandhi for the Congress’s victories. “When the entire country is congratulating Rahul Gandhi and the Congress for its victory… Mamata Banerjee has not done it yet. Is she not happy with the victory of Congress?” he said.

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Poll results unite state Cong factions

A day after Congress’s electoral victories, its state president Somen Mitra and former state chief Adhir Chowdhury were seen sharing the stage. The two have been divided over the issue of an alliance partner for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. While Chowdhury advocated an alliance with the Left, Mitra wanted the party to stand alone. Party sources said the Congress now wants them to bury the hatchet and work towards defeating the BJP in 2019.

Mamata had on Tuesday congratulated the winners of the Assembly polls in five states, but stopped short of naming the Congress or its national president.

On a similar note, Congress MP and former state unit chief Adhir Chowdhury claimed Mamata was having “sleepless nights” because of the Congress’s success.

“She and her party leaders are not ready to give credit to us because they know that Rahul Gandhi will be the next Prime Minister. Those who have been saying that Mamata should become the Prime Minister are now realising that this dream is over. That seat is no more vacant,” he said.

State Congress president Somen Mitra asked political parties to stop considering his party as signboards. “That description is no more relevant as the entire country now knows what we are capable of,” he said.

Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Abdul Mannan appealed to former Congress workers to rejoin the party. “There is still room for them and we are ready to welcome them back,” he said.

‘We are on the same pitch’

Responding to the Congress’s remarks, senior TMC leader Arup Roy said, “The BJP has no presence here. So the question of us beating them does not arise. On the other hand, their leaders constantly abuse our leaders in rallies and television channels. This is really unfortunate… They (Congress) should not target our party because we are on the same pitch. We too want to defeat the BJP.”