The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Sikdar men shown the door from BJP panel

Calcutta, Nov. 7: Some members of the Tapan Sikdar camp in the state BJP secretariat were dropped from the new body framed by party chief Tathagata Roy today.

The move is expected to bring back on track the BJPís ties with the Trinamul Congress as Sikdar had been unsparing in his criticism of Trinamul chief Mamata Banerjee. The Sikdar men who did not find themselves in the new panel include vice-president Muzaffar Khan and general secretary Pratap Banerjee.

Rahul Sinha, who had been removed from the state party secretariat at Sikdarís behest, was taken back as one of the three general secretaries. The other two, Badal Bhattacharya and Debabrata Sinha, were retained.

Veteran leader P.D. Chitlangia will continue as one of the five vice-presidents. Among the five secretaries, the only Sikdar loyalist to retain berth was Mrinal Das. Sanat Dutta will continue as the treasurer.

Roy said the re-constituted committee will meet for the first time on Saturday. Sources said it will make fresh overtures to Trinamul for a pre-panchayat poll alliance. Roy had expressed desire to have talks with the Trinamul leadership over seat adjustments immediately after replacing Ashim Ghosh, also a Sikdar loyalist, as the state BJP president.

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