Senior Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury has hit back at party colleague Anand Sharma for questioning the party's tie-up with Indian Secular Front (ISF) in West Bengal for the upcoming Assembly polls. Chowdhury is also the Congress West Bengal unit president. He accused Sharma of helping the 'polarising agenda' of the BJP.
Chowdhury asked Sharma to rise above always seeking personal comfort sports and 'stop praising PM'.
"Know ur facts Anand Sharma ji. CPI(M) led Left Front is leading the secular alliance in West Bengal of which Congress is an integral part. We are determined to defeat BJP's communal & divisive politics and an autocratic regime. Congress has got its full share of seats. Left Front is allocating seats from its share to the newly formed Indian Secular Front-ISF," he tweeted.
"Your choice to call the decision of CPM led front ‘communal’ is only serving the polarising agenda of BJP," Chowdhury added.
The Berhampore MP also said that those who are committed to fight against BJP should support the Congress and campaign for the party in five states "rather than attempting to undermine the party by remarks in tune with BJP’s agenda".
"Would urge a select group of distinguished Congressmen to rise above always seeking personal comfort spots and stop wasting time singing praises of PM," he said.
"They owe a duty to strengthen the party and not undermine the tree that nurtured them," he added.
Earlier on Monday, Sharma openly slammed the party's tie-up with Indian Secular Front (ISF) led by Muslim cleric Abbas Siddiqui in the poll-bound state. He said that it was against the "Gandhian and Nehruvian secularism" and the party cannot be selective in fighting the "communalists".
"The issue of alliance with a radical party like the ISF should have been discussed and approved by the Congress Working Committee," Sharma, a former union minister and a leader of the group of 23 which had written to Congress president Sonia Gandhi demanding organisational overhaul, said. Sharma is a member of the CWC and the deputy leader of the Congress in Rajya Sabha. The CWC is the highest decision-making body of the party.
He also sought clarification from Chowdhury for attending the joint rally in Kolkata where ISF leaders were present, alleging that his presence and endorsement was "painful and shameful".
Leaders of the Left, Congress and the ISF addressed a joint rally at the Brigade Parade ground in Kolkata on Sunday. Joining the Left and Congress leaders at the dais was Abbas Siddique of the iconic Furfura Shareef and founder of the ISF, a recent member of the opposition alliance in the state.
"Congress cannot be selective in fighting communalists but must do so in all its manifestations, irrespective of religion and colour. The presence and endorsement by West Bengal PCC President is painful and shameful, he must clarify," the leader said.
The Congress is contesting the West Bengal assembly elections in alliance with the Left and ISF but is fighting the CPI-M in Kerala as the principal opposition party.