With an eye on the Assembly elections next year, senior state Congress leaders on Sunday met candidates of the 144 municipal wards of Kolkata to boost their morale and listen to their problems and suggestions.
“Kolkata is the capital of the state and we can’t afford to be weak here. We are weak at the moment but this can never be permanent. We have to be pro-active and work out ways to rejuvenate party workers,” state party president Adhir Chowdhury said at Khudiram Anushilon Kendra Auditorium in the city.
Several MLAs, including former state Congress presidents like Manas Bhuniya and Pradeep Bhattacharya were also present at the occasion.
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Later, while speaking to The Indian Express, Chowdhury said he wanted leaders at the ground level to speak up. “Their main problem is that the ruling party (Trinamool Congress) was indulging in terror tactics and implicating them in false cases. They rued that on a number of occasions, the top party leadership had failed to stand beside them when needed,” he added.
Chowdhury alleged that Trinamool leaders had laid “rat traps” with baits were like job assurances to attract more people to the party. “We need to send a message — right down to the booth level — that the Left Front was tested for 34 years and Trinamool had deteriorated the condition of Bengal further in the last four-and-a-half years. People should be motivated to give Congress an opportunity,” he said.
While speaking to Congress workers about the huge debt burden that the state faces and how there had been a flight of capital from Bengal, Chowdhury urged workers to do everything possible to make the party’s march to Nabanna on Tuesday a success.
Infighting within the party was also discussed during the meet. Senior leaders were asked to refrain from speaking against each other to the media and that all differences should be discussed and solved within the party.
“My impression is that while senior leaders may lack confidence, those at the grassroots level are more positive about the party in Bengal,” Chowdhury said.