Calcutta, June 3: A section of Trinamul leaders are unhappy with the nomination of controversial leader Arabul Islam as a panchayat samiti candidate.
Many Trinamul leaders have questioned the move to allow the former Bhangar MLA to re-enter mainstream politics before the rural polls.
Arabul, who was jailed for assaulting former CPM minister Abdur Rezzak Mollah and whose gesticulating arm had sent a jug crashing into a lady teacher’s chin during an altercation at Bhangar College, filed his nomination for the Polerhat II panchayat samiti in South 24-Parganas on Friday.
A section of Trinamul leaders and workers in Bhangar have made their “displeasure” over Arabul’s nomination clear to the party leadership.
“Local leaders are unhappy with Arabul’s nomination. They feel his frequent brushes with the law have hurt the party’s image and it could affect Trinamul’s poll prospects,” a senior party leader said. “But the decision was taken at the top level.”
Arabul had earned the chief minister’s wrath after he was sent to jail for 44 days on the charge of assaulting Mollah at Kantatala, near Bhangar, in January.
But since his bail, Arabul has been attending meetings at Trinamul Bhavan. He participated in several party events, including a rally in Calcutta to protest the attack on finance minister Amit Mitra in Delhi.
“He made some mistakes for which he was warned. No decision was ever taken that he would not be able to contest elections,” a Trinamul general secretary said.
Trinamul leaders said Arabul still wielded clout in Bhangar and his organisational skills would be required for the panchayat polls.
Arabul dismissed the opposition to his candidature. “Some people are spreading these rumours. I am contesting with the permission of the leadership. Is there any one to replace Arabul Islam in Bhangar?” he said.
The Trinamul sources said the leadership had worked out a “compromise formula” so that the discontent over Arabul’s nomination did not turn into a rebellion.
“Mohammad Nanoo Hossain, who had been suspended for fighting the 2011 Assembly polls as an Independent against Arabul, is back in the party fold. Hossain’s wife Masuda Bibi is likely to contest a zilla parishad seat on a party ticket. The daughter-in-law of another senior leader opposed to Arabul will contest a Bhangar panchayat samiti seat,” a Trinamul leader said.
Hossain had eaten into the anti-Left votes, which is perceived as one of the main reasons for Arabul’s loss in the Assembly polls.