Chowdhury at the rally in Behrampore on Sunday. Picture by Chayan Majumdar
Behrampore, Oct. 27: Murshidabad Congress strongman Adhir Chowdhury today accused Trinamul of planning to take control of the Behrampore municipality with the help of police and anti-socials, and threatened to smash heads if any such attempt was made.
Making his first public appearance in his home district in the past one month, during which he obtained anticipatory bail in cases of murder and vandalism outside the district magistrate’s bungalow, junior railway minister Chowdhury said: “Trinamul is planning to take control of the (Congress-run) Behrampore municipality with the help of police and anti-socials. Matha guriye dobo (I will smash heads).”
At the rally on the Friends Union Club grounds in Behrampore, Chowdhury challenged Trinamul to take control of the municipality in the Congress’s stronghold.
“If they have the guts, let them do so with the help of the police and anti-socials. I challenge Trinamul to stop the Congress from retaining the civic board this time too,” he said.
Chowdhury’s comments come at a time Trinamul has taken control of five civic bodies run by the Congress because of defections.
The Behrampore municipality will go to polls on November 22 along with four other civic bodies.
Referring to the two cases against him, Chowdhury said: “Trinamul leaders here must have convinced Mamata Banerjee that it will be easy for them to grab the Behrampore civic board by bringing false cases against me and sending me to jail. But this will not happen.”
The Congress has won the municipality three consecutive times since 1998 with the Opposition drawing a blank each time.
Several state Congress leaders, including junior Union ministers Deepa Das Munshi and Abu Hasem Khan Chowdhury, state party president Pradip Bhattacharya and former minister Manas Bhunia, also spoke at the rally.
State Congress secretary Saumitra Roy, who supervised the arrangements, said party workers from Calcutta and its neighbouring districts reached Behrampore in trucks and lorries last night to attend the rally.
A district Congress leader said Chowdhury, whose bail plea in the murder of a Trinamul activist in 2011 will come up for hearing on Tuesday, was “agitated” about being “framed”.
“Ever since Adhirda reached Behrampore last night, he has been looking very agitated over the two false cases. Today’s comments were an outburst of pent-up feelings,” he said.
Trinamul and the CPM criticised Behrampore MP Chowdhury’s comments.
Asked about the statements, Trinamul all-India general secretary Mukul Roy said “the Congress would be further isolated from people”.
A Trinamul vice-president said: “It is unbecoming of a minister to speak in such language.”
Murshidabad CPM secretary Mriganka Bhattacharya said “a minister should not make such irresponsible statements”.