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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Sep 2014

Cong walks out, Mamata loses voice in West Bengal assembly

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Kolkata, September 23, 2012
First Published: 08:36 IST(23/9/2012) | Last Updated: 11:11 IST(23/9/2012)

Twenty-four hours after six Trinamool ministers marched into the Prime Minister's office in New Delhi and put in their papers signalling the end of the alliance, a similar scene was enacted in Kolkata on Saturday.

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In the afternoon, six Congress ministers walked into chief minister Mamata Banerjee's office in Writers' and submitted their resignations.

Later, the group met the Governor, withdrawing support to the Trinamool government.

Wasting no time, the Congress, that had a rocky relationship with the Trinamool even while being a partner of the ruling alliance, geared up to play the role of an Opposition party. Congress leaders picked on issues like the deteriorating law and order situation and vowed to launch agitations against the government.

Earlier in the day, chief minister Mamata Banerjee, while speaking at a function, threatened to continue her tirade against the Congress. "We're poor, but we have some respect. We have the right to retaliate. Please don't threaten us," she said at a function in Kolkata, hinting that she is ready to take on the Congress, both in the state and in Delhi.

"Now, we'll hit the streets against the government and highlight various issues, such as the deteriorating law and order situation in the state. We'll also reach out to the people and explain the policies of the Centre and the double standards of Mamata Banerjee," Pradip Bhattacharya, president of Pradesh Congress Committee, retaliated. He added that leaders in Kolkata were waiting for the high command's decision. After that, the state Congress will place its bid for the main opposition party in the state assembly.

State Congress leaders huddled in the afternoon at Bidhan Bhavan, the party's headquarters in the state. Senior leaders discussed the roadmap for anti-TMC agitation programmes throughout the state, apart from panchayat polls preparations. The Congress will have to take on the CPI(M), as well as the Trinamool Congress, in the coming rural polls.

By 5pm, Congress ministers of Bengal led by Manas Bhuniya reached Writers' Buildings and met the chief minister. Trinamool Congress leaders, such as Partha Chatterjee, Amit Mitra and Subrata Mukherjee, were also present. The rising rate of crimes against women and the deteriorating law and order situation, were given as reasons for their resignation. However, Congress ministers avoided the media at Writers'.

"For the sake of the people, we'll fight against this government," said Manas Bhuniya.


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