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Buddhadeb files nomination; Manish Gupta is his rival

Special Correspondent

West Bengal Chief Minister seeks re-election from Jadavpur

— Photo: Sushanta Patronobish

West Bengal Chief Minister Buddahadeb Bhattacharjee files his nomination papers for the Jadavpur Assembly constituency in Kolkata on Tuesday.

KOLKATA: West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee filed his nomination on Tuesday for the Jadavpur Assembly constituency, from where he will be seeking re-election.

Jadavpur goes to the polls in the third phase on April 27.

Security was tight at the South 24 Parganas district treasury building at Alipore here where the Chief Minister, accompanied by his election agent, the former Mayor of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation, Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya, filed his papers.

Those in the fray for the seat include Trinamool Congress nominee Manish Gupta, a former Chief Secretary who served under Mr. Bhattacharjee.

Claims dismissed

Ananya Dutta reports:

Meanwhile, senior Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader and Housing Minister Gautam Deb said the 2009 Lok Sabha elections were the first in which the Left Front suffered defeat since it came to power, and it had learnt its lessons.

Mr. Deb termed charges and statements made by Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee in a recent interview to a television channel “absurd” and “serious misrepresentation of facts.”

Rejecting Ms. Banerjee's claims that she brought investments worth Rs. 1 lakh crore to the State in the two years she has been Railway Minister and she has proved that the government can be run without any tax increase, Mr. Deb said the total plan budget for the Railways across the country in the past two years added up to Rs. 99,000 crore, and a large part of this sum had come as budgetary support from the Centre and borrowings from the market, which could be repaid only through taxes.

“There is a limit to the rubbish that can be uttered,” Mr. Deb said, placing facts on the Left Front government's achievements, including schemes for the unorganised sector, which she questioned.

He said Ms. Banerjee's comments that “Muslim OBCs have been given reservation by taking it away from Hindus” — in reference to the Left Front government's decision based on the Ranganath Misra Commission's recommendations — not only inaccurate but could also inflame communal passions.

Touching on Ms. Banerjee's statement that her party was opposed to bandhs, Mr. Deb pointed to the occasions when the Trinamool had called or supported State-wide strikes.

He debunked her claim that cases had been slapped on more than a lakh of her party supporters, pointing out that the total non-bailable warrants issued in the State were fewer.

Mr. Deb said Ms. Banerjee's sudden announcement on the creation of a Vidhan Parishad — “when the Trinamool Congress has never mentioned it in the campaign for the earlier elections, nor has it raised the matter in the Assembly all these years” — was probably meant to accommodate those to whom she was unable to give ticket.

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