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Mamata front pushed back

Midnapore, Dec. 20: Mamata Banerjee today announced she would “formally” float the Progressive Secular Democratic Front on December 30, ten days later than originally scheduled.

Addressing a news conference at the Midnapore circuit house this afternoon, the Trinamul Congress leader said “90 per cent” of the job of stitching up the front was over following talks with “like-minded parties minus the CPM”.

A fortnight ago, Mamata had said in Calcutta that the front would be launched today.

“Many Left leaders and thinkers will join the secular front. It will emerge as a viable alternative to the CPM-led coalition in the state,” she said in Midnapore today.

Asked how she could float a secular front while being an NDA partner, Mamata evaded a direct reply. “I am concerned about Bengal and I will do whatever is necessary to oust the CPM from here,” she said.

Mamata addressed a rally near the district magistrate’s office earlier in the day. She said five bodies from Khejuri had been ferried to Calcutta for post-mortem last night. “I want to know why police secretly dug out the bodies in the dead of the night. What do they want to hide?”

Nandigram ‘graves’

Eight graves were today found in Khejuri, neighbouring Nandigram, three of which might contain human remains, according to PTI. They could be of women as torn fragments of saris and bits of bangles and a necklace were found.

CRPF assistant commandant A.K. Upadhyay told The Telegraph that the force had received a phone call saying villagers had sighted mounds of earth in Khejuri. The CRPF will inspect them tomorrow, he added.

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