An 800-km yatra organised by the West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee concluded on Monday at Kurseong in Darjeeling district. State Congress president Adhir Chowdhury had started the yatra from Sagar Island in the Sundarbans on December 28.
Addressing a gathering at Kurseong, Mr. Chowdhury said that the people of the region have been fooled by the promises of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the BJP.
“Sometimes in the name of Gorkhaland, sometimes for Kamtapur, people have been fooled,” Mr. Chowdhury said at the conclusion of the yatra. The Congress MP said that these promises were only aimed at winning elections in the region.
During the 800 km yatra, which continued for over four weeks, Mr. Chowdhury targeted both the TMC’s and the BJP’s leaderships. He has been continuously raising the issue of why the TMC’s leadership has been silent on Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra. The Congress’ yatra comes at a time when the Trinamool government is battling a number of scams, including a recruitment scam related to teachers and non-teaching staff in State-run schools.
The yatra was held at a time when the Congress’ organisation in the State is relatively weak and not as it has been in the past. At present, the Congress has two MPs from the State but no representation in the West Bengal State Assembly. The Congress had entered into an electoral understanding with Left parties in 2016, but it hasn’t worked well for the party.
Sources in the Congress party said that Mr. Chowdhury had sent out letters to different political parties, including the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) State secretary Md. Salim. Though none of the top CPI(M) leaders joined Mr. Chowdhury, Left leaders had publicly expressed support to the Congress yatra in West Bengal.