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Malda road message

Malda, Dec. 17: Trinamul minister Gautam Deb has begun a spree of inaugurating 10 road projects in Malda, which is one of the few Congress strongholds in the state.

The move by the north Bengal development minister comes at a time when panchayat polls are near. In Malda, the zilla parishad is controlled by the Congress.

Trinamul has repeatedly tried to make inroads into Malda and it tasted success when Krishnendu Chowdhury, the Englishbazar Congress MLA, switched to the ruling party. For the switch, he was rewarded with the state tourism portfolio.

A miffed Congress today said the roads were being built with central funds but the state did not invite any Congress MP or MLA from the district for the inaugurations.

Deb and women and child development minister Sabitri Mitra were shown black flags by Congress supporters in Old Malda yesterday when the duo went to inaugurate a new road. The Congress raised the protest as the local MP and the MLA of the party were not invited to the inauguration of the road construction.

According to sources in the district administration, Deb will camp here till December 19 and inaugurate the construction of nine roads. He already launched two road works in Ratua and Chanchal today. Over the next two days, he will inaugurate seven more road works at different places in the district.

When contacted in Delhi, district Congress president and Union minister of state for health, Abu Hasem Khan Choudhury, said the Trinamul Congress was taking advantage of work being undertaken with central funds. “Our MPs and MLAs are getting funds from the Centre after lobbying Delhi but the Trinamul government is taking advantage of this and fooling the people. That is why they are not inviting our elected representatives for fear of getting exposed,” said MP Abu Hasem Khan Choudhury, the Malda district Congress chief.

Hasem, the Union minister of state for health, said Deb inaugurated two roads today without inviting the Congress MLAs of Ratua and Chanchal.

Deb said it was the duty of the district administration to send invitations.