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March 17, 2011

Barak Congress hit by tsunami

SILCHAR, March 16: It is political tsunami that has hit Congress in Barak Valley. From internal bickering and squabbling, it is now open revolt and rebellion. Congress leaders and their supporters of long standing are up in arms against the State and National leadership for their ‘whims and wishes’ in allotting nominations. The way weathercock politicians like Dr Rumi Nath who left BJP and Anwarul Haque who deserted AIUDF have been honoured and awarded by tickets from Borkhola and Katigorah has provoked angry protests among the workers. Congress Bhavan here has been the target of furious and agitated workers and their demonstrations.
Arun Dutta Mazumdar, District Congress Committee president of Cachar, regarded as the most disciplined and dedicated member of the party with long innings of services without any glare, is himself aggrieved for being denied ticket, his rightful claim. He being on the frontline has to do lot of explaining against the fury and fuming of leaders and their followers, often in belligerent mood. It has become an uphill task for him to keep his flocks together.
Otherwise cool and composed, Dutta Mazumdar unable to take the rebellion in his stride faxed urgent messages to the State and Central headquarters, articulating the widespread resentment and dissension of rank and file and its likely consequences at the hustings, pointed out an important functionary of the party. He admitted many flaws in selecting candidates for most of the 15 Assembly seats.
Misbahul Islam Laskar, former minister and presently chairman of Minority Cell of the party, who was elected from Borkhola in 2001, has been sidelined to accommodate Dr Rumi Nath. Today, he resigned from Congress and has decided to contest as an Independent. He said, “It is the wish of the people of my constituency that I should severe ties with Congress, a painful decision though”. He did it to record his just protest, he pointed out.
The wave of rebellion hit the frontier constituency of Katigorah. Pradip Paul, a long time party worker, likewise has been denied nomination and AIUDF deserter Anwarul Haque inducted in his place. He has also decided to contest as an Independent and been assured of support from the rebels of his own party and those of BJP. If Anwarul Haque is seen as an outsider thrust on the voters of this constituency, BJP nominee Anil Chandra Dey is also considered so.
Badarpur constituency in Karimganj district is another boiling pot for Congress. Abu Saleh Nazmuddin, ex-minister and a leader of mass base, who was the choice of people as a favourable candidate, too was neglected. Jamal Uddin Ahmed backed by an influential minister of the valley instead was fielded from this railway township. Abu Saleh is contemplating to contest as an Independent. The picture will be clear on Thursday. It has also been a big blow to Congress when a veteran stalwart of the party Muqtadir Chowdhury who won from Karimganj, North and South, consecutively for three terms alternately, was denied ticket and a lesser known Kamalakh Deb Purkayastha nominated from North Karimganj.
The policy decisions of State leadership on crucial poll issues have caused lot of heart burning for the Congress leadership of Karimganj. They apprehend it might be repeat of 2006 when Congress drew blank in all the five constituencies of the border district. Hindu Bengalees are in particular aggrieved on two counts. Preference in nomination has been given to Muslim and tea tribe candidates. AICC general secretary and observer for Assam, Digvijay Singh’s statements at public rallies calling Hindu Bengalee refugees infiltrators have been taken seriously and it might boomerang for the party. Confidential reports from the three district committees on their likely adverse impact on polls have been sent to Guwahati and Delhi with a request for cautious observations from outside leaders to be sent on campaign. (SentinelAssam)

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