The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Front red faces over Bloc move

Krishnagar (Nadia), Nov. 23: Barely a week before elections to the Krishnagar municipality, the Left Front is struggling to come to terms with divisions in its own ranks.

A Forward Bloc nominee in the polls had pulled out of the fray on the last day for withdrawing nominations, allegedly to favour a Trinamul Congress-backed Independent.

Krishnagar and three other municipalities — Jhargram, Howrah and Behrampore — will go to polls next Sunday.

Bloc candidate for ward 4 Gour Ghosh withdrew his nomination without making a mention of it at the district front meeting. In the absence of the Bloc candidate, there will be a direct fight between the Congress and the Trinamul-backed Independent.

Ghosh, also the Bloc district secretary, was the lone party nominee in the elections to the 24-member civic board. The CPM has put up candidates in 12 seats, the RSP in two, the Samajwadi Party in three and the Left-backed Nagarik Committee in five.

District CPM leaders today complained about Ghosh to front chairman Biman Bose, who was here to spearhead the last leg of campaigning. They told Bose that party leaders were facing odd questions from the electorate because of the Bloc leader’s “whimsical decision”.

“It is a major embarrassment for us. Ghosh withdrew his candidature without consulting the front partners. Moreover, he did not give us any scope to field a fresh candidate as he pulled out on the last date for withdrawing nominations,” district CPM secretary Asu Ghosh said today.

Gour Ghosh was unfazed. He found nothing “wrong” in what he had done. “I had decided to withdraw to ensure the defeat of Uday Mitra, the Congress candidate and chairman of the municipality. Mitra will lose the elections if pitted against the Trinamul-backed candidate, Amitava Sukul,” he said.

The Congress has been in power in the civic body since 1989. Sukul said he was “confident” about “sailing through” following the Bloc move.

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