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Congress axes 12 dissident leaders

Sending a clear message to Mamata Banerjee, the Congress on Wednesday axed 12 of its leaders who were contesting as independents against the Trinamool Congress. State Congress leaders also urged Mamata to follow suit. Pramod Giri reports.

india Updated: Apr 14, 2011 21:09 IST

Sending a clear message to Mamata Banerjee, the Congress on Wednesday axed 12 of its leaders who were contesting as independents against the Trinamool Congress. State Congress leaders also urged Mamata to follow suit.

Dr Shakeel Ahmed, the All India Congress Committee general secretary and Manash Bhuniya, the West Bengal Pradesh Congress President made the announcement about the suspension.

Addressing a hurried press conference on Wednesday evening, Bhuiya, who along with Ahmed, is busy campaigning for assembly elections in north Bengal said, “Those being suspended are hard working and dedicated Congress leaders but as they went against the party’s decision to forge election alliance with the TMC, we have no option but to suspend them with a heavy heart.”

Bhuiya said, “As we are suspending our leaders for working against the alliance spirit, we want Mamata Banerjee to reciprocate by taking action against Trinamool’s independent candidates contesting against the Congress candidates.”

When asked why no action was being taken against top Congress leaders like Adhir Chowdhary of Mushirdabad and Deepa Dasmunshi of North Dinajpur district, Congress Lok Sabha MPs, who are directly supporting the independent candidates against the TMC candidates, Ahmed said, “I spoke to both of them on Wednesday morning, and they promised not to support independent candidates in any form.” “Their activities are under scrutiny,” he added.