KOLKATA, 5 OCT: The state Congress appears divided over the prospective return of former PCC chief Somen Mitra from Trinamul Congress. Though the fissures in the party are yet to develop into cracks over the issue, a faction opposing his return is seeking to make its voice heard above the hoopla of his supporters awaiting his return.
This group does not subscribe to the views of Mr Mitra’s loyalists who look forward to his return. Even if he comes back, his return, according to the faction, will merely lead to a loss of face for the Trinamul and hardly amount to any political gain to the Congress, which is yet to pick up the pieces after its rout in the panchayat elections.
His detractors contend that Mr Mitra would not have deserted the party and joined Trinamul had he possessed the organisational capacity which his supporters claim.
Obviously, he is not a leader who can swim against the current which till date only Miss Mamata Banerjee has successfully done when she broke away from the Congress and floated the Trinamul.
Though PCC chief Pradip Bhattacharya has welcomed Mr Mitra&’s return, several Congress leaders apprehend the latter would be a parallel centre of power and undermine the authority of the present leadership. Factional politics, the bane of Congress since the late 60s, would be activated on his return.
Mr Mitra&’s comeback would certainly rejuvenate it as the rank and file look up to him, senior leader Soumitra Roy said. Conceding that the party was dubbed “CPI-M&’s B-team” during Mr Mitra&’s tenure as the PCC chief, he pointed out that with the incidents of crime and administrative bungling hitting the headlines almost daily the circumstances have changed.
At a time when the Congress Legislative Party (CLP) is staking its claim as the principal Opposition party in the state Assembly, it appears to be an opportune moment for Mr Mitra to lead agitations against the Trinamul government.
Such agitations with Mr Mitra at their head would much add to the discomfiture of the Trinamul government. Moreover, they will also take the winds off the sails of the CPM-dominated Left Front.
Mr Mitra’s detractors take this contention with a pinch of salt. It is to be grudgingly conceded, they point out that the agitations which rocked the Left Front regime were not launched by Mr Mitra but then a lesser leader, Miss Banerjee.