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Adhir Ranjan’s ‘resignation’ as PCC chief shrouded in mystery

Mystery and speculation continued to swirl around veteran Congressman Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury’s political future as rumours started that he had resigned as the Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee president owning responsibility for the party’s poor performance in the Lok Sabha polls. While Chowdhury refused to either confirm or deny the news of his resignation, sources said […]

Mystery and speculation continued to swirl around veteran Congressman Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury’s political future as rumours started that he had resigned as the Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee president owning responsibility for the party’s poor performance in the Lok Sabha polls.

While Chowdhury refused to either confirm or deny the news of his resignation, sources said that the veteran Congressman had chaired a meeting of the state unit of the committee this afternoon. The meeting was convened to review the reasons behind the party’s poor performance in the State in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections. Sources said that Chowdhury had made the announcement at the meeting, but had received overwhelming support from the other members and asked to take back his resignation.

However, there is no official confirmation from the Congress leadership on whether his resignation has been accepted. Speculation have already surfaced over who would succeed him.
Adding to the mystery, Chowdhury said: “Since Mallikarjun Kharge became the Congress’s national president, there was no state president. Now when the full-time President is appointed you will all come to know that.”

Incidentally, he made this announcement just a day after the Congress’ Rajya Sabha member and former Union Finance Minister, P Chidambaram, dropped in at the State secretariat Nabanna and held a 35-minute meeting with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Adhir Chowdhury, a five-time party Lok Sabha MP from Murshidabad’s Baharampur constituency, was defeated by the Trinamool Congress’s celebrity candidate and former Indian cricketer Yusuf Pathan by around 85,022 votes. While Chowdhury secured 4,39,494 votes, Pathan managed to garner 5,24,516 votes.

Reports have been circulating for some time now about Chowdhury’s disagreements with the party’s high command over the former’s “sour” relationship with the Trinamool Congress.
In fact, Trinamool supremo Mamata Banerjee and her nephew Abhishek Banerjee have blamed Chowdhury for the failure of negotiations between the Trinamool Congress and the Congress to reach an election agreement and share Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal.
They had also criticized him for steering the Congress to an electoral understanding with the CPIM.

In addition to the tension with the Trinamool Congress, his differences with Kharge also surfaced during the Lok Sabha polls after Chowdhury questioned Banerjee’s loyalty to the Congress-led opposition bloc.

According to insiders within the Bengal Congress, Isha Khan Chowdhury, the Congress’s lone Lok Sabha MP from Bengal now, is one of the frontrunners for Chowdhury’s position in the party’s Bengal unit.

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