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HindustanTimes Sun,20 Apr 2014

Wave of Cong rebellion swells in Murshidabad

Sagarnil Mukherjee, Hindustan Times  Behrampore, March 31, 2011
First Published: 12:30 IST(31/3/2011) | Last Updated: 17:17 IST(1/4/2011)

The wave of dissidence over Congress candidatures for the Assembly elections is spreading to newer areas of Murshidabad.

Such is the discontent that Congress workers in Sagardighi have extended support to the Trinamool Congress nominee over the Independent candidate picked by Adhir Chowdhury.

"Despite being a member of the Congress, I am supporting the Trinamool candidate to ensure the defeat of the Left nominee. The Independent nominated by Adhir Chowdhury can't win this seat since he is not a known face," said former general secretary of Sagardighi block Congress, Shamsul Huda, who was reportedly denied a ticket.

Peeved Congress zilla parishad members in Farakka and Shamsherganj are planning to contest as Independent candidates against those nominated by the party high command. In  Raninagar and Murshidabad,  constituencies are yet to hit the campaign trail in earnest.

Dissident Congress zilla parishad member Shanu Sheikh, who is contesting as an Independent against Congress candidate and sitting MLA in the Farakka constituency Mainul Haque, has already set out on the campaign trail.

Sheikh campaigned in several villages of the constituency over Monday and Tuesday. "The CPI(M) and the Congress have been working in tandem here. As a soldier of the Congress, I can't tolerate this. Hence, I decided to contest as an Independent."

"The sitting MLA, who is also the Congress nominee from this seat, does not trust anyone. He has never been known to bring any local Congress leader to the forefront," Sheikh said.

Party insiders revealed that Sheikh and Haque were once close friends but later fell out over securing work orders for NTPC projects in Farakka. Haque allegedly exercised his influence to secure a majority of the contracts. "The sitting MLA was involved in several irregularities while being in charge of development projects in the area. I am going to expose his illegal deeds in my election campaign," said Sheikh.

In Shamsherganj constituency, Kausar Ali, a Congress Murshidabad zilla parishad member, is set to contest as an Independent against party nominee and a close aide of Chowdhury, Mousumi Begum.

"Congress is a democratic party and the members can raise their voice on any issue. But the situation will change after the date for withdrawal of nominations. If we find any Congressman going against the party, we will take the necessary action," said district Congress spokesperson Asok Das.

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