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Delhi delegates Mamata protest

New Delhi, Sept. 25: The Congress high command has given the Bengal unit permission to aggressively counter the Trinamul Congress although central leaders are avoiding a direct attack on Mamata Banerjee.

Sources said the state unit would bring out a booklet on the economic situation with emphasis on FDI in multi-brand retail and educate office-bearers on how to counter the chief minister’s negative propaganda.

Mamata last week made a public pledge to stop entry of FDI in Bengal’s retail sector. “Common people will not be able to buy anything…” she told a government event in Bengal and vowed to fight like a “bagher bachcha” (born of a tiger).

A delegation led by former PCC chief and state minister Manas Bhuniya today met Union commerce minister Anand Sharma to gather details about foreign direct investment in retail trade.

The state unit has been asked to hold interactive sessions, conferences and public rallies throughout Bengal to explain to people the truth about the Centre’s decisions that provoked Trinamul into snapping ties with the Congress.

The state unit will also highlight what it describes as commonality of purpose among the Left, BJP and Trinamul.

The state leaders have requested central leaders to visit Bengal in the coming days. The campaign will start with rural development minister Jairam Ramesh addressing a public rally in Lalgarh on October 16.

Ramesh, the sources said, would focus on how the Manmohan Singh government has introduced more social welfare programmes than any other regime in the past, in an apparent bid to counter Mamata’s charge of anti-people policies.

All party MLAs and senior state leaders will be asked to be present at the rally.

To pre-empt Mamata from alleging discrimination or vendetta, senior leaders from Bengal have approached central ministers to ensure that none of the projects sanctioned for the state are abandoned or slowed down.