In fresh trouble for Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, sitting MLA from Mongolkot in East Burdwan district, Siddiqullah Chowdhury – one of the key faces behind the Nandigram anti-land acquisition movement – has decided not to contest from his own constituency in the upcoming assembly polls.
Expressing displeasure over the “indifferent behaviour”, “unorganised functioning of the district leadership” and “lack of courtesy”, Chowdhury said, “I have informed everything about the poor leadership in the district to our party chief Mamata Banerjee. I felt that some party leaders in the district are not performing the way they should considering the crucial polls.”
Chowdhury said he is a “bhumiputra” of Burdwan and cannot be a mute spectator if the district lags behind on the path of development due to poor leadership. “Therefore, I have decided not to contest from Mongolkot this time. I have already informed my party chief about my decision,” he said.
In the 2016 assembly polls, Siddiqullah Chowdhury won the Mongolkot seat by defeating his nearest rival, Sahajahan Chowdhury of the CPI (M), by a margin of nearly 12,000 votes. Mamata had then made him a cabinet minister and he was given the portfolio of minister of state (independent charge) in mass education, library and parliamentary affairs.
Chowdhury contested the 1984 Lok Sabha elections on behalf of the Congress and in 2014 he switched to the TMC and contested the 2014 parliamentary polls from the Basirhat seat.
Recently, several leaders from the Trinamool have left the party and many of them have joined the BJP ahead of the state polls. Among the big names are former Mamata aide Suvendhu Adhikari, former West Bengal minister and cricketer Laxmi Ratan Shukla, former TMC MP Sunil Mondal and former party MLAs Arindam Bhattacharya and Vaishali Dalmia.
Mamata Banerjee has accused the BJP of poaching her party’s leaders and claimed that despite all this, the Trinamool Congress will keep power in Bengal as the people of the state are with her.