West Bengal Congress asked to strengthen infrastructure for 2019 polls
West Bengal minister and TMC candidate Firhad Hakim defeats BJP's Meena Devi Purohit in Kolkata mayoral polls: Officials.
Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi on Tuesday urged the party's West Bengal unit to work on strengthening its infrastructure to fight the 2019 General Elections on its own instead of looking for alliances with other political forces.
Terming the activities of West Bengal's ruling Trinamool Congress as "undemocratic", Gogoi, who held a meeting on poll strategies with senior state Congress leaders here, said the party workers may oppose an alliance with Trinamool in the coming elections.
"Gogoi has asked us to make the party stand firmly on its own feet in the state," a state Congress leader said on the condition of anonymity.
"He said the way Trinamool is trying to undemocratically destroy Congress in Bengal, it is natural for the party workers to oppose any coalition with the Trinamool. He has also asked the party to conduct protest demonstrations wherever the Congress activists are attacked or heckled by the state ruling party," he added.
State Congress president Somen Mitra claimed that no other party has the guts to fight against the atrocities of the Trinamool government in Bengal or the BJP-led NDA at the Centre apart from Congress, and announced the party would hold a meeting against the policies of the state and centre on December 12.
"We have called a meeting on December 12 in Kolkata's Rani Rashmani Road against the atrocities and corruption of the state and central governments. We would be able to assess our party's strength by seeing the turnout in that meeting," Mitra told reporters after the first meeting of the state Congress office bearers following the recent reformation in party's state unit.
Accepting that the party has gone weak in the state for the last few years, he said the Congress support base in Bengal is currently inadequate to hold big rallies in Kolkata's iconic Brigade Parade Ground like the Trinamool Congress or CPI-M.
Other senior state party leaders including leader of opposition Abdul Mannan, party MP Mausam Benazir Noor and Deepa Dasmunsi also attended the meeting.
(With inputs from agencies.)