Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday appointed Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury as the new president of the West Bengal Congress, the party said. Chowdhury is also the leader of Congress in the Lok Sabha.
His appointment was necessitated after the demise of former West Bengal Congress Committee chief Somen Mitra. "The Congress president has appointed Shri Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury as the president of West Bengal Congress Committee with immediate effect," an official communication said late on Wednesday night.
"At this juncture, the party also remembers the services of Late Shri Somen Mitra, a veteran Congressman whose untimely demise has left a void amongst all Congress workers. He will always be remembered for his dedication to the cause," the AICC general secretary K C Venugopal said in the statement. The appointment comes ahead of next year's assembly elections in West Bengal. Chowdhury is considered a strong critic of Chief Minister and TMC president Mamata Banerjee.
His appointment also triggered speculation on whether he would continue to hold the post of the leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, going by the party's principle of giving one post to one person.