The Congress party’s central leadership, which consists of Sonia, Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi has unleashed the family loyalist and leader of the party in the Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury upon Mamata Banerjee’s TMC in West Bengal ahead of the all-important assembly polls in the state early next year. In what will benefit the BJP, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury has been appointed as the West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee (WBPCC) President by interim party chief Sonia Gandhi. The top post of the Congress in the state fell vacant subsequent to the death of former state President, Somen Mitra, who passed away on July 30.
The appointment of Chowdhury as the state President has many takeaways, the first being that the Congress is working overtime to ensure that West Bengal, ahead of the assembly polls, witnesses a triangular contest between the BJP, TMC and Congress-Left combine.
As such, the Congress is doing its bit in ensuring that the TMC regime is uprooted, and the BJP wins the polls. It is common knowledge that in a triangular contest, the BJP gains a disproportionate advantage and ends up winning the elections.
Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury’s appointment as the state President of the party is also laden with anti-TMC signaling. The Congress has made it clear that it is not in favor of a TMC rule continuing in Bengal, even if that means gifting power to the BJP by giving a tough fight and a run for her money to Mamata Banerjee. It must be remembered that putting up a brave front against the TMC, and mounting an aggressive campaign against the Mamata regime in Bengal will go a long way in Congress cutting the TMC votes, which will predictably end up benefitting the BJP.
It is important to mention that the BJP has a consolidated voter base, as is evident from the results of the Lok Sabha election results from the state last year, where the frustrated voters of the state sided with the BJP resoundingly, sending shockwaves down the TMC establishment. Those who have made their mind to vote for the BJP next year, which is quite a large number, will vote for the saffron party irrespective of the Congress and TMC. The two other parties can do close to nothing to sway BJP voters towards their side. However, the Congress mounting a severe anti-TMC campaign will lead to a major chunk of Mamata voters casting their ballot in favor of the Grand Old Party.
Such a shift in votes from TMC to Congress will work wonders for the BJP, which will be well poised to form the government in the state, dethroning Mamata Banerjee. Already, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury has started working in this direction, and as a recipe to further steal TMC votes, the state Congress President announced that the Congress would be working to ally with the Left parties in Bengal. The Left has welcomed Chowdhury’s proposal, and has said that all anti-TMC and anti-BJP forces must fight together in the state.
Again, the BJP’s vote will in no manner be affected by an alliance between the Congress and Left, rather, it is again the TMC which has much to lose. Meanwhile, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury has also raked up the issue of Rhea Chakraborty, prime accused in the Sushant Singh Rajput death case, claiming that she is being targeted for being a “Bengali-Brahmin girl”. For Chowdhury to pick up an issue after assuming control as Congress state president, which the BJP and TMC have not opined on in Bengal at least, is a testimony to the fact that the new state Congress chief is not willing to let any issue pass unnoticed.
Chowdhury has also made an appeal to all former defectors from the party, who joined other political parties and outfits in Bengal, to return to the Congress’ fold, as the new chief aims at putting up a united Congress fight against the TMC.
The TMC has much to fear with Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury at the helm of Congress’ affairs in West Bengal with months to go before the most anticipated state election in recent history. Meanwhile, the appointment of Chowdhury as the state president of Congress in Bengal has also made it clear that only Gandhi loyalists will be rewarded, even as signs of a purge within the party of dissenting leaders become more visible.