Cong seeks report over poster defacement; Mamata-Modi war of words intensifies | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Cong seeks report over poster defacement; Mamata-Modi war of words intensifies

May 21, 2024 11:41 AM IST

Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge’s poster and hoardings were defaced days after he overruled Bengal unit chief Adhir Chowdhury

Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge managed to unite the party after years of discontent and the formation of the rebel G23 group besides playing a key role in forming the 25-member Opposition Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA). A rebellion is now brewing against him in West Bengal. His poster and hoardings were defaced and slogans were raised against him in Kolkata days after Kharge overruled Bengal unit chief Adhir Chowdhury over his stand on Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee.

Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge. (PTI)
Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge. (PTI)

The Congress on Monday sought a report from its Bengal unit over the defacement. KC Venugopal, Congress general secretary (organisation), said the party was taking a very serious note of grave anti-party activities.

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The posters and hoardings near Congress’s office in Kolkata were defaced on Sunday a day after Kharge contradicted Chowdhury’s remarks that TMC chief Banerjee cannot be trusted. “Agent of Trinamool Congress” was scribbled on Kharge’s posters and hoardings.

The TMC is part of the INDIA bloc even as the Congress does not have an alliance with it in West Bengal.

War of words

The war of words between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Banerjee over the West Bengal chief minister’s remarks about the Ramakrishna Mission and the Bharat Sevashram Sangha intensified on Monday. Modi accused her of unleashing a reign of terror on such institutes to appease her vote bank. Banerjee reiterated that she is not against any institution but those indulging in political activities despite being monks. Banerjee accused a section of monks of asking voters to support the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

ED opposes Soren’s bail plea

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday opposed former Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren’s request for interim bail to campaign in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections. It accused him of attempting to thwart an ongoing money laundering investigation in an alleged land scam by “misusing state machinery” and “through his stooges”. In an affidavit before the hearing, the agency stressed that Soren was involved in the illicit acquisition and possession of properties deemed proceeds of crime and that his conduct disentitles him to any reprieve. Soren has sought relief like Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, who was granted interim bail for the poll campaign.

Sambit Patra faces flak

BJP’s Puri Lok Sabha candidate Sambit Patra’s remark that Odisha’s most revered deity “Lord Jagannath is a devotee (bhakt) of Modi” has triggered a political row. Top leaders such as Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik, Kejriwal, Kharge, and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi hit out at the BJP even as Patra claimed it was a “slip of the tongue”.

The Congress shared a video of Patra’s comment and asked Modi to apologise. Patnaik criticised Patra for hurting the Odia pride. “Mahaprabhu Shree Jagannatha is the Lord of the Universe. Calling Mahaprabhu a ‘bhakt’ of another human being is an insult to the Lord... it is totally condemnable. This has hurt the sentiments and demeaned the faith of crores of Jagannatha bhaktas and Odias across the world,” he wrote on X

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