Kolkata, Sept 10 (HS) Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury has been appointed the new president of West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee (WBPCC). The decision was announced by party general secretary KC Venugopal on Wednesday.
Known as a staunch critic of Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee, Chowdhury’s appointment comes just months ahead of the crucial 2021 state assembly polls and has ended the month long speculation on the issue of the state leadership.
“Congress President has appointment Shri Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury as the president of West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee with immediate effect,” a formal statement of the party read.
The reason for Congress President Sonia Gandhi to pick up Chowdhury from among several contenders, including those like Congress Rajya Sabha member Pradip Bhattacharya and senior Pradesh Congress leader Abdul Mannan, is his past experience and his strong decision making ability.
The change of guard comes after the position fell vacant following the demise of veteran Congress leader Somendranath Mitra in July this year. The five time MP from the Behrampore seat in Murshidabad district has previously served as the WBPCC chief between 2014 and 2018.
On being appointed West Bengal Congress president, Chowdhury said, “I want to thank my party for keeping faith in me at this crucial juncture. My aim would be to strengthen the organisation and put up a strong fight against both the communal BJP and the undemocratic TMC”.
Chowdhury, who was to leave for New Delhi today to attend the upcoming Parliament session from September 14, reached Kolkata last night. Accordingly, he decided to defer his departure for the capital by a day.
According to party sources, new state Congress President arrived at Congress Bhavan this morning and held a preliminary meeting with several of his party colleagues including Bhattacharya and Mannan to get a clear idea about the present state of affairs in the state.
Now it will be seen that amid strong opposition from a section of local Congress leaders, how Chowdhury would make his next move to further cement an electional alliance with one time foe CPI-M and Left Front to counter ruling TMC and opposition BJP in 2021 assembly polls.