Congress leader Anand Sharma slams party's tie-up with ISF in West Bengal

New Delhi: After Ghulam Nabi Azad, it is the turn of Congress leader Anand Sharma to strike a discordant note – that too in public – much against the ethos of a party where nobody speaks out of turn.

Sharma is upset at the party's West Bengal poll strategy and has asserted that the Congress could not be selective about its fight against communal forces. For a party that swears by its secular credo such a claim by its prominent leader is nothing short of blasphemy.

The former Union Minister was possibly reacting to visuals of Bengal Congress chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury at a rally, sharing the dais with the Left and the ISF (Indian Secular Front).

"Congress's alliance with the ISF and similar parties goes against its core ideology, and the secularism advocated by Gandhi and Nehru, which is the soul of the Congress. These issues should have been discussed by the Congress Working Committee (CWC)," Sharma tweeted in Hindi.

"In the fight against communalism, the Congress cannot be selective. We must fight against communalism in all forms. The West Bengal Congress chief's presence at the rally and support is shameful, he has to explain his stand," he added.

Chowdhury retorted that he never took any decision without a nod from the powers that be in Delhi. ‘‘We are in charge of a state and don't take any decision on our own without permission," he was quoted as telling news agency ANI. The Congress's Bengal plan unwittingly pits it against Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in the upcoming Bengal election, even though she is battling a common enemy – the BJP. The Congress also finds itself on the right side of the Left, its bitter rival in Kerala.

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