West Bengal Congress chief Adhir Chowdhury has kicked up a controversy by making winning MPs from his party sign an undertaking ‘swearing unqualified allegiance’ to party President Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi.
According to Congress insiders, all the recently elected 44 party MLAs were made to sign a bond at a closed-door meet presided by Bengal state party committee chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury.
The MLAs were made to sign the written pact that they would remain loyal to Sonia and Rahul Gandhi and would never make any negative comment or indulge in anti-party activities.
In the “affidavit to the Congress president”, all the lawmakers swore their “unqualified allegiance” to the party, led by its president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi.
They gave an undertaking that they would abide by all the decisions taken by the party, and obey the directives of the chief whip in the assembly.
They also resolved not to make any anti-party remarks and affirmed they would resign their membership of the assembly before opposing any decisions taken by the party.
“All the 44 elected members of the party have taken a unanimous decision that they would not leave the party under any circumstances and indulge in anti-party activities. We have given a written declaration on stamp papers,” senior West Bengal Pradesh Congress leader Abdul Mannan said.
“No one was forced or directed to give the declaration,” said Mannan who was elected from Champdani constituency in Hooghly.
“We have seen in the past that many Congress workers left the party after being elected legislator. The declaration is aimed at preventing such desertions. We will go by the party’s decision,” he said.
A number of legislators who had won on Congress tickets in the previous assembly, later crossed over to the ruling Trinamool Congress.
The Congress has emerged as the Opposition in the Bengal Assembly as the CPM got relegated to the third position. In the “Mamata tsunami” rerun, Congress has not only managed to add three more seats from 42 to 44, but has also increased its vote share from 9.6% to 12%. This way, Congress becomes the main Opposition in the Bengal Assembly after 15 years.