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Malda poll poster sparks spat
- Krishnendu Congress-backed, says bypoll flex

Malda, Feb. 15: A flex poster claiming Congress backing for Trinamul’s Englishbazar bypoll candidate, Krishnendu Chowdhury, has sparked a war of words between the two parties.

The Congress wrote to the Election Commission today saying the objectionable poster that appeared at Binodpur Bharatitari village on the outskirts of Malda town this morning would confuse voters and was a violation of the model code of conduct.

The poster had the names of two Yuva Trinamul Congress leaders as the “sponsors”. The poster said Krishnendu was a “Congress samarthito Trinamul Congress prarthi (Congress-backed Trinamul Congress candidate).”

Krishnendu is contesting on a Trinamul ticket after switching from the Congress. The Congress has fielded Narendranath Tewari, a former chairman of the Englishbazar municipality, in the seat.

Local people have been caught unawares by the poster and said they had no idea who had put them up. “We do not know who put up the posters but this morning we saw the poster that said Krishnendu was a Congress-supported Trinamul candidate,” said grocer Atul Mondol.

“This is a violation of the model code of conduct and we have faxed a complaint to the Election Commission. The flex is an attempt to confuse voters. Krishnendu had won from Englishbazar twice on the Congress’s hand symbol. He is no longer a member of the Congress and we find it absolutely shameless that Trinamul would use our party’s name like this,” said Englishbazar block Congress president, Abdul Matin.

Ranjit Roy, the secretary of the Yuva Trinamul Congress in Englishbazar and one of the “sponsors” of the poster, said the flex was a conspiracy hatched by the Congress and the CPM. “I haven’t sponsored any such poster and I have complained to the Englishbazar police against the Congress and the CPM. Our workers have been asked to remove the posters and deposit them with the police,” Roy said. He said there were at least three such flex posters in the village.

Krishnendu scoffed at the incident.

“I am a Trinamul candidate. Why should I support anyone putting up such a poster that says I am supported by the Congress. This is absurd. Why should our workers also do that? It is a conspiracy by the Opposition. Let the police investigate and find out the truth,” the candidate said.

Malda police superintendent, Prasun Banerjee, said the Englishbazar police had received the complaint. “We have asked an officer of the rank of a deputy superintendent of police to investigate the matter,” he said.