After PCC chief Adhir Chowdhury, seeking to field a newcomer, announced the name of Mudassar Hossain Warsi to be the Congress nominee in the by-election for Uluberia parliamentary segment, the lack of unanimity in this choice has led to disgruntlement in the party.
While the leadership of the Trinamul Congress and CPI-M, having announced their nominees much earlier, have already hit the campaign trail, the Congress shows little sign of whirlwind electioneering in what had been a Trinamul stronghold in the previous parliamentary election.
Senior Congress leaders in the PCC and the Congress Legislature Party felt the party nominee’s lack of continued contact with the rank and file will be a deterrent in his campaign. Warsi had once been associated with Chhatra Parishad, but has little interaction with the party of late, it was pointed out.
The Congress nominnee’s background as a blogger and his expertise in management may have impressed the AICC leaders, but campaigners will find it to dificult to explain to the voters how he will be able to take up their concerns if he is elected, said a senior leader from Howrah where the Uluberaia parliamentary segment is located.
The choice of the candidate is also a reflection of the PCC chief’s failure to convince the AICC leadership of the unsuitablity of Warsi’s candidature, a senior CLP leader said.
Mr Chowdhury should have pointed out to the AICC members that a Congress nominee who has been away from the hurly burly of state politics for years will send a wrong message to the rank and file, he said. The delay in announcement and the choice of candidate will be another factor to stoke dissent against the PCC chief. Some of the leaders have voiced their resentment after he failed to stop the exodus of the party legislators to the Trinamul Congress.
The voices of protest have only become louder after the Congress nominee lost his deposit in the Sabang by-election in Midnapore (West) recently.
Lack of co-ordination and fund crunch have been identified to be the twin factors in this humiliating defeat in what had been a Congress stronghold for decades.
Against this backdrop, the choice of the nominee in the Uluberia by-election does not seem to indicate a determined bid to win the seat, a senior Congress leader from Howrah said.
On the other hand, it seems that our party is contesting this by-poll merely as a matter of form, he felt.