May 2: The Trinamul Congress MLA from Salboni, Srikanta Mahato, was today showcaused by the Election Commission for derogatory remarks against the CPM’s Mohammad Salim at a campaign rally in West Midnapore on Wednesday.
Mahato’s outburst against Salim, CPM central committee member and the party’s candidate for the Raiganj Lok Sabha seat, came a day after the latter alleged at a campaign meeting in West Midnapore’s Chandrakona that Trinamul activists were attacking Left supporters and warned of a retaliation.
“Left workers and supporters are being attacked all over the state. Trinamul should know that CPM workers not only know how to weather attacks, they can also retaliate,” Salim had said.
At the same venue in Chandrakona, Mahato used an expletive while referring to Salim and said he had “heard” that “to be a member of the communist party, one has to kill people”.
“They (CPM) can’t do any good for the people. They can only kill people,” the Trinamul MLA added.
The CPM lodged the complaint with the district magistrate this morning.
The subdivisional officer of Midnapore, Amitava Dutta, said Mahato had been asked to reply to the showcause notice within 24 hours.
District Trinamul president Dinen Roy said he had not heard what Mahato had said. “But we don’t support these kind of comments. I am looking into the matter,” Roy added.
Mahato did not take calls.
The CPM candidate for Burdwan East, Iswar Chandra Das, lodged a complaint with the district magistrate, accusing animal resources development minister Swapan Debnath of violating the model code of conduct by inaugurating a children’s park in Kalna this morning.
Debnath inaugurated the municipal park that a private agency renovated at a cost of over Rs 40 lakh.
Alleging that the act was “a gross violation of the model code of conduct,” Das demanded penal action against Debnath.
The chairman of the Kalna municipality, Biswajit Kundu, said the civic body had “consulted” the subdivisional officer, “who assured us that there was no bar (on inaugurating the park) as the elections in the Burdwan East Lok Sabha seat were over”.
An election official said as long as the poll process was on, the model code would be in place and it did not matter if polls in a particular constituency were over.
When this newspaper contacted Debnath, he said: “Can’t I participate in any good work? I am from Kalna and I went there to do a good job.”