Things are not going all well within Congress, as assumed from the new directive by West Bengal unit of the party. Fearing from unexpected moves from legislators, state unit has directed all the winning MLAs to sign a unique kind of undertaking, named, ‘swearing unqualified allegiance’. The move may be an outcome of what Congress witnessed in Uttarakhand Assembly in March when 9 of its MLAs revolted against their own party, or it may only be considered as a precautionary measure, as termed by some sources in state Congress unit.
All the legislators were made to sign the pledge on a Rs. 100 stamp paper. The affidavit mentions that the legislators will not indulge in any kind of anti-party activities. The decision was taken in a meeting held between legislators, district presidents, state party leaders and state party Chief Adhir Chowdhury. It was decided in the meeting to make the members sign the declaration on a stamp paper.
Talking to the media, Adhir Chowdhury said, “It is not a bond which we have forced people (to sign) to take action against them if they fail to live up to the conditions. It is more of a voluntary pledge by partymen as a gesture of their allegiance.” He further added that the party would remain open for discussions over its policies, but none of its men should talk about them in public. He said, “As far as voicing their concerns, there is and will always be ample scope for it within the party because there can always be disagreements. Just that they should not tom-tom it.”
There are four points on the stamp paper and the first one states, “I do swear my unqualified allegiance to Indian National Congress led by Hon’ble Congress President Smt Sonia Gandhi Ji and Hon’ble Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi Ji.”
The second one states, “I, as a member of the legislative assembly, will not get involved in any anti-party activity. Even if I do not agree with any party policy and/or party decision, I will not make any negative comment thereon and/or I shall not take any negative action to the detriment of the party. In such a scenario, I shall resign from my post of MLA before making such comment and/or taking such action.” The third one mentions about the guidelines that the MLAs have to follow, followed by the fourth point as declaration.
The move clearly shows the concern of party which has suffered defection of its members to other parties, specially Trinamool Congress. Though signing of an affidavit does not seem to have any negative impact, however, what impact this move would make among the members is yet to be witnessed.