Monday, June 17, 2024

After 5 Terms As Baharampur MP, Adhir Chowdhury Bowled Out By Yusuf Pathan


The Congress has won just one seat in West Bengal.

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury won and took the crease in Baharampur in 1999, remaining not out in four successive Lok Sabha elections, until a former all-rounder making his electoral debut bowled him out this year.

And, despite the Congress’ much better show elsewhere, the loss of Mr Chowdhury will be felt keenly by the party not just because his was one of only two seats it had won in West Bengal in 2109, but also because he was its leader in the Lok Sabha.

And, despite the alliance with the Trinamool Congress as part of the INDIA bloc, Mr Chowdhury remained a staunch protector of the Congress’ interests in the state, becoming one of the strongest critics of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s party in the process.

His strident opposition to the Trinamool even earned him a snub from Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge last month, but Mr Chowdhury maintained that he continued to do what he did to keep the Congress relevant.

“My fight is to keep Congress relevant in West Bengal. I cannot move away from it since I am a dedicated soldier of the party,” the veteran leader had said.

Having lost to the Trinamool’s Yusuf Pathan by a margin of over 85,000 votes, the five-time MP said he did the best he could under the circumstances.

“I wish Mr Pathan the very best,” he said.

Ms Banerjee, though, made it a point to make her displeasure with him known after his defeat.

“People do not tolerate such arrogance for long. He wasn’t a leader of the Congress but a man for the BJP,” the chief minister was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

Mr Pathan, on the other hand, said the veteran leader would continue to get his respect as a senior politician.

“I would like to state that I will dedicate my time to Baharampur from now on and set up my base here to work for my people,” he said.

Defying most exit poll predictions, the Trinamool Congress is on course to win 29 of the state’s 42 seats, reducing the BJP to 12 (from 18 in 2019) and the Congress to just one.

(With PTI inputs)

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