Mausam Benazir Noor, 31, one of the youngest MPs in the country, won a hard-fought election to become president of the West Bengal Youth Congress on Monday.
Noor’s name came to the fore six months ago when Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi decided to revamp the state Youth Congress. Gandhi wanted Noor to play a pro-active role in West Bengal politics and organisational matters.
After the win, Noor said, “Rahul has reposed faith in me. I have to execute his organisational plans to revive the Youth Congress here.”
With the win, Noor, related to the late former union minister Ghani Khan Chowdhury, further consolidated her position in West Bengal politics.
She beat Arindam Bhattacharya, who was backed by MP Deepa Dasmunshi, wife of ailing Congress leader Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi.
Kaushik Mukherjee, who was supported by outgoing president Amitava Chakrabarty, was the third candidate in the fray.The voting, held at the Rabindra Sarovar in south Kolkata, was marred by confusion and after the results were declared, supporters of Noor and Dasmunshi came to blows. The electoral college comprised 2,600 voters.
The Youth Congress polls and Noor’s victory revealed the divide within the state unit of the Congress. Noor is not affiliated to any camp.
Chakrabarty, the outgoing president, said on Monday: “In 2007, when Rahul Gandhi took charge of the Youth Congress we resolved that Youth Congress should be left to the youth and no state leaders should interfere in its matters. But this time, we had state leaders pitching in for their candidates.”
Noor’s election comes ahead of the six-phase assembly polls. “Youth would form a considerable chunk of voters this time. They are the new voters who will determine the fate of many candidates in the assembly elections,” said Noor.