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Congress asks Trinamool ‘to filter out hoodlums'

Special Correspondent

KOLKATA: The State Congress leadership has asked its senior alliance in West Bengal, the Trinamool Congress, “to filter out hoodlums” from its ranks, the likes of which had attacked Congress supporters on their way back from Khejuri in Purbo Medinipur district after a rally there on Saturday.

Describing the incident as “very unfortunate” Manas Bhunia, president of the West Bengal Pradesh Congress committee said here on Sunday that such occurrences provide “the Communist Party of India (Marxist) reasons to applaud and laugh” at a time “when the fight of the Congress-Trinamool Congress alliance is against the CPI(M)-led Left Front in the State.”

Congress supporters held demonstrations at various places condemning the attack, and demanding the arrest of those responsible.

“We are telling our party workers not to fall prey to provocations. We also appeal to the Trinamool Congress leadership to identify those responsible [for the attacks on Congress activists] and take steps against them. If this is not done the situation will turn grave,” Dr Bhunia cautioned.

‘Undemocratic'

Asked for his reaction to the attack, Mohammed Salim, member of the CPI(M) central committee, said the Trinamool Congress's “junior partner in the State” is now realising how “undemocratic” is the Trinamool Congress which will brook no opposition in areas which it considers as liberated either with or without the help of the Maoists. On the situation at Khejuri where “there no longer is the red flag,” Dr. Bhunia, without mentioning the Trinamool Congress, said there were “desperate attempts to establish one-party rule in the area.” “This I will not accept. The Congress is always there [to fight] the infringement of fundamental rights,” he said. Attempts to disrupt the meeting had been made even though “democracy had been rescued from the CPI (M) there and peace had been restored.”

“The Congress and the Trinamool Congress have together raised the slogan for freedom in West Bengal. Why should one party's flag deny that freedom,” he asked, adding that a detailed report on the attack was being sent to the party's national leadership.

Even though Dr. Bhunia maintained that the Trinamool Congress should ensure that those at the lower level of the party's hierarchal order were not engaged in “inconsistent talk,” he said the attack would have no effect on the future of the alliance.

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