Kolkata, Aug 26 (IANS) Expressing deep concern over steady desertions in the Congress in West Bengal, senior leader Manas Bhunia Tuesday met party president Sonia Gandhi in Delhi seeking her intervention.
Bhunia’s move has attracted criticism from party’s state unit chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury who has been maintaining that the Congress is unperturbed by a host of leaders and activists switching allegiance, mostly to the ruling Trinamool Congress.
“It is very painful to see that of the 42 MLAs who had won under my leadership, nine have joined the Trinamool. The matter is very grave and I discussed it with Sonia Gandhi and also submitted a report to her,” said Bhunia, a former state unit chief, in Delhi.
Refusing to comment if the situation warranted a change of leadership in the state, Bhunia, a former state minister, called for deep introspection to check the menace.
“It’s not possible for me to say anything about the change in leadership, but the situation is very grave and there is an immediate need for introspection as to why this is happening and what needs to be done,” added Bhunia.
Describing Bhunia’s concern as “sheer exaggeration”, Chowdhury expressed his unhappiness over the leader approaching Sonia Gandhi instead of him.
“People have the right to approach Sonia Gandhi with their grievances. But I would have been happier had people come to me first. I am a four-time MP and so far in my life, only once I was summoned by Sonia Gandhi,” said Chowdhury.
Asserting that the party was unaffected by desertions, Chowdhury said that only those who were unsure of their future were looking for greener pastures.
“Unsure whether they will again become MLAs, unsure about their livelihood and future, there may be people who are joining Trinamool,” said Chowdhury.
The Baharampur MP also castigated Trinamool general secretary Mukul Roy for claiming that the Youth Congress in the state had merged with his party.
Roy had made the claim after state president of Congress’s youth wing, Soumik Hossain, joined Trinamool.
“I would ask Roy to first ascertain facts before he makes such outrageous claims. To claim that our entire youth wing has merged with Trinamool when only six of the leaders have joined is laughable,” asserted Chowdhury.