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Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury’s Statement Unfortunate: Congress Leader Anand Sharma

We believe in the leadership of Sonia Gandhi, Anand Sharma said (File)

New Delhi:

Calling West Bengal Pradesh Congress chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury’s criticism of his “concerns” as ‘”unfortunate”, senior Congress leader Anand Sharma on Tuesday said he believes in a civilised political dialogue even if there are differences or ideological issues.

Mr Sharma had earlier tweeted his concerns about Congress’ alliance with Indian Secular Front (ISF), an outfit headed by the cleric of a local shrine, in West Bengal and said “alliance with ISF and other such parties is against the ideology of the Congress and should have been discussed with the Congress Working Committee (CWC)”, to which Mr Chowdhury said, “We are in charge of a state and don’t take any decision on our own without any permission.”

“What I said is an expression of my concerns. Not only am I firmly committed to the Congress’ ideology, which is inclusive, democratic and secular, but I’m also one of the historians and ideologue of the Congress party. It has to be taken in that context. There is no politics in this. I have said something and it is for others to take the note,” Mr Sharma told ANI.

“It’s an unfortunate statement, I believe in civilised political dialogue and discourse. Even if there are differences and ideological issues, those differences cannot be personal. I have noted what Adhir babu said but I can’t become personal,” he added.

When asked about his ”rebellion” with other G-23 members (or the group of 23 dissenting leaders, who had questioned the party”s functioning in a letter to interim president Sonia Gandhi), Mr Sharma said there is no rebellion.

“Who are we rebelling against? We believe in the leadership of Sonia Gandhi. We have never said a word against the party leadership…Yes, we have our concerns from the last two general elections and it’s a fact. What we are saying has to be understood in the right context. We said openly that we want to strengthen the party and we are a united Congress. We don’t want anything that can weaken the party,” Sharma said.

He added that Congress always had a positive democratic exercise of internal discussion and debates.

“Hopefully the party will come out of this phase and we will see strong revival. That is what we will work for. We wish the Congress candidate the best in the forthcoming Assembly elections and wherever we are asked to go and campaign, we will do so as Congressmen, as we have done in the past,” he said.

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