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Mamata calls for Buddha boycott

Calcutta, May 13: Mamata Banerjee today called for a boycott of the chief minister for his “involvement in the state-sponsored violence” during the panchayat poll.

“There is blood in (Buddhadeb) Bhattacharjee’s hands after so many innocent people were killed in Bengal. As home minister, he cannot disown responsibility for the massacre,” the Trinamul Congress chief told a news conference this afternoon.

“He (Bhattacharjee) is unwelcome to us and nobody should talk to him. Let him go to Cuba and see how constructive the communists are,” added Mamata.

Yesterday, she had warned there would be a “civil war” and people could take the law into their own hands to save themselves from the CPM’s onslaught.

Asked if she had conveyed her (boycott) decision to deputy Prime Minister .K. Advani, who met Bhattacharjee today, an agitated Mamata said: “I don’t know whether Advaniji granted him an audience but I feel he should be thrown into a waste paper basket after the carnage. He has lost his credibility as protector of democracy.”

The state Congress, however, refused to toe Mamata’s line. “If Trinamul boycotts Bhattacharjee, it should also boycott Narendra Modi of Gujarat, whose hands are bloodied (after the Gujarat riots),” said former state party chief Somen Mitra.

Ally BJP, too, differed with Mamata on the boycott call. “Mamata has correctly said that Bhattacharjee’s hands are full of blood but he should be exposed to the people,” state BJP president Tathagata Roy said.

But Mamata got rebel MP Sudip Bandopadhyay and Calcutta mayor Subrata Mukherjee by her side today to project a unified image of the party. When Mamata announced Trinamul would line up its course of action against the CPM after a meeting on Thursday, Bandopadhyay nodded in approval. The mayor went a step further to add that it was shameful on Bhattacharjee’s part “to use the administration for the party’s interests”.

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