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Bloc to shun Left campaign

Balurghat, March 28: The Forward Bloc’s South Dinajpur district secretary has said the party will not campaign in favour of the Left Front candidate in Balurghat and stay away from a meeting that LF chairman Biman Bose is scheduled to hold here tomorrow as the party’s hasn’t been invited.

“We have not been called a Front ally since 2011. We will not take part in campaigning,” said Swapan Tarafdar, the Bloc’s district secretary, who added that the workers felt they were not being treated with “dignity”.

Sources said the relationship between the Bloc and other parties in the Front was never “smooth” in the district and the leaders had “problems” with Tarafdar. He was expelled from the RSP about 10 years ago. He joined the Bloc and became the district secretary. Later, Tarafdar left the party and formed Janabadi Forward Bloc. “He was thrown out of the Bloc by the then secretary Chitto Sarkar. But after Chitto joined Congress, Tarafdar returned to the Bloc,” said a source in the CPM.

Tarafdar today said: “Janabadi Forward Bloc had contested four (of the six) seats in the Assembly polls in 2011. The party, under my leadership, had got more than 10,000 votes. The MP from Balurghat, Prasanta Majumdar, had won by a margin of just over 5,000 votes. So our party cannot be ignored.”

The current RSP Lok Sabha candidate from Balurghat, Bimal Sarkar, said there would not be much impact if the Bloc stayed away from campaign. “There are lot of factions in the Bloc. Some joined the campaign. If others want to be away, it would not have much impact.” Manbesh Chaudhury, the CPM district secretary, said: “The Bloc has many factions. It is very confusing. We have invited some of them.”