Union minister Adhir Chowdhury to lead Cong in West Bengal

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WB Congress gets a new president
Kolkata, Feb 10: The West Bengal Congress leadership on Monday appointed three-time Berhampore MP Adhir Chowdhury as the West Bengal Pradesh Congress president. Adhir replaces Pradip Bhattacharya, a Rajya Sabha MP.

Reportedly, Adhir is close to the state chief minister Mamata Banerjee.

"Adhir will now lead a beleaguered state Congress, rocked by at least six of its MLAs defecting to Trinamool Congress, to the Lok Sabha polls, where it is hoping to retain its six Lok Sabha seats", said a Times of India report.

Reportedly, Adhir is close to the state chief minister Mamata Banerjee


The decision, which has been in cards for quite some time now, came as a surprise development for the state Congress leaders. Reportedly, Bhattacharya, himself, had no clue about it till the last moment.

Bhattacharya had met Sushil Kumar Shinde the night before the decision was announced.

"This isn't surprising. I was told of it before. Even CP Joshi (the AICC leader in charge of Bengal) had hinted as much. Change in political leadership is due to several factors. The AICC in choosing Adhir has opted for a young and dynamic leader and I extend all my support to him", he said.

What could be the reason?

In the 2009 Lok Sabha polls and again in the 2011 assembly polls Congress had an alliance with the Trinamool Congress. Adhir's leadership is, reportedly, to appease the Mamata-led TMC.

According to sources, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi is behind the move. Adhir is also the union minister of state for railways.

"The time is little. The leadership has sent a message that we have to fight without fear. We will do our best," Adhir said.

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