NEW DELHI: The clash in Congress over the G-23 group of dissenters member Anand Sharma’s objection to the party aligning with the Muslim outfit ISF in Bengal as breach of Nehruvian secularism continued to simmer.
Bengal Congress chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury kept up his fusilade against Sharma and former leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad for playing to the BJP gallery, inviting a firm rejoinder that his criticism is unfortunate.
Even as the to and fro continued, Congress urged the dissenters to not weaken the party’s fight against the “communal” BJP.
Chowdhury, as per TV reports, said G-23 members had “extracted their pound of flesh” from Congress and were castigating the party because it did not have much to offer in terms of positions. “They thought of appeasing the party that may offer something for their bright future,” he said. Chowdhury also said Congress members should stop singing praises of PM Modi, an allusion to Azad lauding Modi for being true to his roots.
As Chowdhury’s attack suggested G-23 members were doing BJP’s bidding, Sharma told ANI, “What I said is expression of my concerns. Not only am I firmly committed to Congress’ ideology, but I’m also one of the historians and ideologues of Congress. There is no politics in this. It’s an unfortunate statement. I believe in civilised political discourse. I have noted what Adhir said but can’t become personal.”
AICC spokesman Abhishek Singhvi said, “It’s BJP propaganda… that despite its goonda brand of politics, it has the gall to call others communal. Each one of us and our party members should join in this fight to combat BJP. They should do nothing to weaken this fight.”