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Basu faces query

Calcutta, Jan. 18: After Subhas Chakraborty, his mentor Jyoti Basu may now find himself on the wrong side of his party on the cricket election.

The former chief minister may be asked about his comments on Chakraborty’s avowed intention to run for president of the Cricket Association of Bengal, if the CPM state secretariat takes up the matter tomorrow.

Basu had said yesterday that Chakraborty’s decision to contest was a “personal matter” and that the party had nothing to do with it.

However, CPM state secretariat member Benoy Konar said today: “What Jyotibabu said was his personal opinion. We will ask him about his comments tomorrow (at the state secretariat).”

State party secretary Biman Bose had earlier told Chakraborty that he “cannot” fight the poll as such a matter needs a decision of the “collective leadership” of the party. But Chakraborty had insisted that he would convince Bose and contest the poll.

Chakraborty, who is in Bangalore to attend a Citu meeting, is expected to return tomorrow.

Dismissing the claim that the party’s permission was not required as it was a “non-political matter”, Konar said: “Every CPM whole-timer has to obtain the party’s approval before contesting any election, whether political or non-political. Manas Mukherjee (the party’s MLA from North 24-Parganas) sought, and obtained, the party’s permission before taking over as the vice-president of East Bengal Club.’’

Manas Mukherjee confirmed this. “Anybody can contest elections to an autonomous body,” he said. “But as party whole-timers we have to seek approval. I took the party’s permission, even though no election was involved as I was nominated to the post.”

Unlike Chakraborty and Basu, Konar defended police commissioner Prasun Mukherjee’s decision to contest the polls.

“If professors and journalists can contest for sports body posts, why not a police officer'” Konar asked.

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