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National - Elections 2004 Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Trinamool backing Congress candidate?

Malabika Bhattacharya

Kolkata

The Congress MP from Malda, A.B.A. Ghani Khan Choudhury, loves to spring surprises on the voters, his detractors and his party alike. He has pocketed Mamata Banerjee's Nationalist Trinamool Congress in Malda without Ms. Banerjee's knowledge.

The BJP candidate in Malda, Badshah Alam, a former CPI (M) functionary pitted against Mr. Khan Choudhury, has begun to send one SOS after the other following the discovery that the local Trinamool unit, instead of working against Mr. Khan Choudhury in harmony with the BJP at the Centre and in the State, is actually working against him (Mr. Badshah Alam).

"The BJP has no right to accuse us of supporting [the] Congress. In fact, we are doing just what the BJP had done during the last panchayat election: it supported the Congress only to grab the zilla parishad," Krishnendu Chowdhury, the Trinamool's Malda district secretary, told The Hindu over the telephone.

Mr. Chowdhury, Englishbazar municipality chairman, a few days ago made public his fondness for Mr. Khan Choduhury and his dislike for Mr. Badshah Alam. Mr. Khan Choudhury responded by assuring him a ticket in the next Assembly election.

Ms. Banerjee is in a fix. She does not know how to handle Mr. Chowdhury. Mr. Chowdhury says the Trinamool's Malda unit cannot dream of supporting Mr. Badshah Alam whose brother, Laloo, a former CPI (M) member, had "unleashed" a mob on Ms. Banerjee in 1990. "How can we forget that day when Laloo Alam attacked didi (as Ms. Banerjee is fondly called by her supporters)?"

No doubt the situation is tricky; and the BJP president, Tathagata Ray, and Ms. Banerjee are trying to find a way out of the jam they are in.

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