Cong targets Marxists over ration card row | kolkata | Hindustan Times
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Cong targets Marxists over ration card row

The district Congress leadership in the Farakka constituency of Murshidabad is campaigning hard over the alleged non-provision of ration cards to the people. Sagarnil Mukherjee reports.

kolkata Updated: Apr 21, 2011 14:45 IST
Sagarnil Mukherjee

The district Congress leadership in the Farakka constituency of Murshidabad is campaigning hard over the alleged non-provision of ration cards to the people.

However, with Congress being the incumbent force in the area, with a sitting MLA and holding the reins at eight of the nine gram panchayats of Farakka block, there is a sense that the same could take the edge of their poll campaign. The Congress is also in charge of the Farakka panchayat samity.

Owing to delimitation, the assembly seat has now come under Malda (South) constituency, which has a sitting Congress MP. Hence, faced with a task to buck the incumbency factor, local Congress leadership appears diffident about harping on development, which often features among the pet poll planks.

“As per the census report of 2001, an estimated 2.2 lakh people reside at Farakka block. However, the number has since increased by at least another 10,000-15,000 over the last decade. But till date, only a handful people have ration cards. Only the Left-Front government could be blamed for the continuing inconveniences of the people,” said Abdul Kader, president of the Congress-run Farakka panchayat samity. “In 2008, I found 1.2 lakh pending applications for ration cards. The government had stopped the provision of new ration cards and had only been issuing duplicates,” said Kader.

Mainul Haque, the sitting Congress MLA who is also the poll nominee this year, said, “It is because of the negligence of the Left-run government that people here have been denied ration cards since 1987. We moved a PIL in Calcutta high court and as per the court’s directive, the Farakka panchayat samity recently started issuing a fresh lot of 13,000
ration cards.”

However, Abdus Salam, Left-Front candidate from Farakka, dismissed the Congress claims saying, “The charges have no basis. Our government has undertaken special initiatives to provide ration cards to the people of backward and minority communities.”