The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Strife over CPM fief hots up

Calcutta, Sept. 26: The faction feud in the West Midnapore CPM, which chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee had tried to cap during his recent visit, is expected to kick dust at tomorrow’s district secretariat meeting.

CPM officials indicated that loyalists of health minister Surjya Kanta Mishra, emboldened by Bhattacharjee’s handling of the situation, might try to corner district party secretary Dipak Sarkar and his followers over the “treatment” meted out to Mishra during the chief minister’s visit.

The district CPM was on the boil today when opposing factions clashed over the way Mishra was “ignored” at the inauguration of the district planning building yesterday.

“Questions will be raised about why Mishra was not officially invited to the inauguration of the new parishad building though he is the panchayat minister,” a district party leader said. “We were surprised that Mishra accompanied the chief minister at the inauguration because he was supposed to return to Calcutta after a programme at Baromohanpur HS school.”

CPM insiders said a “peeved” Mishra had decided to leave for Calcutta after the school programme. His schedule in Calcutta was prepared accordingly.

The divisions in the party did not escape the chief minister’s eye. Bhattacharjee apparently urged Mishra to accompany him. “Under pressure from Bhattacharjee, Mishra changed his mind and attended the later programmes, choosing to forget that he had not been invited,” a CPM district secretariat member said.

Children ill

More than 80 children of Kishalaya, a government-run home for children in Barasat, North 24-Parganas, took ill today. They reported sick after dinner last night.

The superintendent of the home said all the children had vomited and complained of stomachache. Five of them were said to be in a serious condition.

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