FROM THE ENvoy IN BUSTO ARSIZIO (VARESE). It is a battle to the last vote that is being fought this morning at the Delia Cajelli social theater in Busto Arsizio, where the Varese provincial congress of the League is underway. The first after the name change from Lega Nord to Lega per Salvini premier but also after 8 years of party commissioner. The local secretary is elected, as is happening simultaneously in Brescia and Pavia, but the match has a wider meaning given the growing discontent in the base of the party. Above all here, in the province which was the cradle of leghiamo and where the founder Umberto Bossi still lives today. Here, a handful of kilometers from Cassano Magnago (where Bossi grew up) and from the notary’s office of Varese where the Lombard Autonomous League was founded in 1984. “We invited Umberto but he won’t come,” says current commissioner Stefano Gualandris, while the first delegates (there are 638 in all entitled to vote) are already in line to express their preference in the ballot box placed on the stage -. In any case Bossi has always had the number 1 card in Milan for which he would not have voted. Even Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti we are not sure that he will be able to pass, while the governor of Lombardy Attilio Fontana is already in the room ».
The two challengers are Andrea Cassani, mayor of Gallarate, and Giuseppe Longhin, a simple militant. But their supporters count more than their names and positions: Cassani is the man of the «Salviniani», Longhin the one supported by the Northern Committee, the current launched by Bossi to recover the Northern spirit of the party after the nationalist turn impressed by Matteo Salvini in recent years. But above all after the bad result obtained in the policies of 25 September. «How it will end is difficult to predict – concludes Gualandris-. The only certainty is that we in the League hold real, hard-fought congresses. In the past, sometimes even tables and chairs flew».
This time the climate is apparently more serene. Everyone greets each other and stops to look at the two photos of Bobo Maroni with the caption «Thank you Roberto. The League will love you forever» exhibited in the foyer. The former secretary and former interior minister who died ten days ago also has a front row seat, right under the stage. An empty chair with a Lega flag resting on it, his book “My North”, the golden pin by Alberto da Giussano and his unmistakable red-rimmed glasses.
In the end, the mayor of Gallarate Andrea Cassani won, the candidate closest to federal secretary Matteo Salvini. The provincial congress of the Varese League that took place this morning in Busto Arsizio, the most important of those celebrated in these hours, scores a point in favor of the current summit in via Bellerio. Cassani got 229 votes, 12 more than the challenger Giuseppe Longhin, local referent of the Northern Committee launched by Bossi. But the result also says something else. Immediately after the proclamation, as if to acknowledge that the party is still split in half, the winner invited the challenger on stage asking him to collaborate “for the good of the League”.