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Surojit Ghosh Hazra and Ravik Bhattacharya, Hindustan Times
Birbhum, July 10, 2013
The Congress has not put up any candidate for the upcoming panchayat elections in the area in which President Pranab Mukherjee’s village falls, giving the seat to rival Trinamool on a platter.
Mukherjee, who held the office of state Congress president, visits village Miriti, 270 km northwest of Kolkata, every year.

“That village has special significance to us. But what can one do in the face of mindless violence unleashed by the ruling party (Trinamool)? The words and actions of (chief minister) Mamata Banerjee have created a serious law and order problem, in which we cannot even put up candidates,” said Pradip Bhattacharya, president of the West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee.

On the other hand, the Trinamool did not field a candidate in the Jangipur Lok Sabha bypoll in 2012, when Avijit, Pranab Mukherjee’s son, contested and won after his father became President and vacated the seat.