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Cong peace prod to ally

Calcutta, Aug. 14: Bengal Congress chief Pradip Bhattacharya will write to Mamata Banerjee for the second time in over a fortnight seeking her intervention in easing “tensions” with the Trinamul Congress, following a directive from the party high command.

The chief minister is yet to respond to Bhattacharya’s earlier letter on the recent spurt in clashes between supporters of the allies.

Bhattacharya said a second letter became necessary after reports of more violence. He said he had received reports of over a dozen clashes in the past fortnight.

An AICC leader said from Delhi that the second missive was to put more pressure on Mamata to take note of the incidents.

Shakeel Ahmed, the Congress’s minder for Bengal, said: “... we asked Pradipji to write a second letter to Mamataji so that she uses her administrative powers to stop the clashes.”

Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee had yesterday said in Siliguri that he had instructed party leaders to settle disputes through discussions at the local level.

A Trinamul general secretary, who is considered close to Mamata, said district leaders have been asked to avert confrontation over control of Congress offices or defection of the party’s supporters to “our party fold”. “Mamatadi has already instructed district leaders to avoid unnecessary confrontation with Congress activists,” he said.

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