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Dasmunshi meeting at Krishnanagar

In the public meeting at Krishnanagar on Sunday, Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi avoided attacking his bete noire and former PCC chief Somen Mitra, reports Arindam Sarkar.

india Updated: Apr 23, 2007 01:21 IST

It was a deliberate political ploy. In his speech in the public meeting at Krishnanagar on Sunday, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi avoided attacking his bete noire and former PCC chief Somen Mitra for hitting out against him at the Shahid Minar Rally on Saturday.

Instead, Dasmunshi made a veiled threat when he told the gathering at the Krishnanagar Post Office Grounds that let the UP Assembly elections be over, all confusion regarding the Congress organisation (and the next PCC chief) in Kolkata would be over and the State Congress would launch in a rejuvenated manner all-out mass movements against the CPI(M) for its misdeeds in Bengal.

In the last four days, the state has witnessed hard verbal volleys between Dasmunshi and Somen supporters, who are trying to run down each other in the public meetings. The rivalry between the two camps has intensified as Somen and Dasmushi have emerged as the strongest claimants for the PCC chief's post in West Bengal.

Dasmunshi on Sunday focused on what needs to be done in the Congress position. "Just because there is UPA government at the Centre which takes support from the Left, there is no reason to believe that we have been bought over by the CPI (M). Or that we are walking on the CPI (M) crutches. Bengal Congress would carry out its full-scale movements against the CPI (M) in the coming days," said Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi.

Priya said that before the Nandigram massacre on March 14, he had warned Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee that things could take an ugly turn unless handled with care.

But, Priya said, Buddha didn't listen. Had the CM paid heed to his advice the Nandigram killings could have been avoided, Dasmunshi believes.

Apart from Priya, the meeting was attended by his loyalists Nirbed Roy, Abdul Mannan, Paras Datta and his wife and MLA Deepa Dasmunshi. But it was the Congress strongman of Nadia and the organiser of the Sunday meeting, the PCC general secretary Shankar Singh who went on a verbal rampage against Somen Mitra and his supporters from the dais.

Shankar Singh said though the Saturday's Congress meeting at Shahid Minar was held to extend solidarity to the people of Nandigram, it actually turned out to be a forum for establishing the supremacy and personality cult of Somen Mitra by his acolytes.

Shankar said that the leaders instead of talking about Nandigram only wasted time harping about Somen and his leadership qualities.

"Sitting 200 kms away from Nandigram, the leaders did a sham on Saturday. The very fact that they have to show their strength in public proves that they are all frustrated and in the last lap of the race. I believe since all heavyweights present there avoided Nandigram could be the CPI(M)'s new ploy to divide the Congress," said Shankar Singh.

Former Tamluk MLA Nirbed Roy said that it was very sad that the Congress leaders divided into groups were trying to catch each others' jugular in public. "This situation eventually benefits the CPI (M). There has been debate within the Congress in the past and there will be debates in the party in the future, but never before have the dirty linens been washed at Shahid Minar – a venue for many historic political meetings," said Nirbed Roy.