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Answer people: rival tells MLA Buddha

Calcutta, March 31: Manish Gupta, the former chief secretary who is taking on Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee in Jadavpur, has said the chief minister will have to explain to the people what he has done for them as an MLA.

“People want to know what he has done for Jadavpur during his 25-year tenure as MLA. He will have to reply to them,” Gupta, who is contesting on a Trinamul Congress ticket against his former boss Bhattacharjee, told STAR Ananda during an interview tonight.

“People want change. They want a new face. Wherever I go to campaign, I can feel the pulse of the people,” Gupta said. He said the people of Jadavpur had told him that they “never got their MLA by their side”.

“The people told me they always saw him (Bhattacharjee) on TV, never by their side. I told them that I would be with them all the time if I am elected,” he said.

On the chief minister’s comment at a news conference at Alimuddin Street last week that it was “beneath his dignity” to talk about former bureaucrats contesting this time, Gupta said: “One should not make such observations when one is himself in the fray.”

Gupta said he did not feel awkward that he was contesting against his former boss. “He is contesting under the banner of a political party while I am in the fray on the ticket of a different party. It is a contest between two political parties, not a fight between two individuals. There is nothing to feel awkward.”

He said he shared a “very good and warm relationship” with the chief minister when he worked under him as chief secretary.

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