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Rout blame on ministers

Malda, May 18: The South Malda Trinamul Congress candidate, Moazzem Hossain, today alleged the two party ministers from Malda district were responsible for his defeat.

When contacted over phone in Calcutta, Hossain, without naming minister of state for social welfare and party district secretary, Sabitri Mitra and tourism minister Krishnendu Chowdhury, said: “I campaigned tirelessly and spent money from my retirement benefits to win. But the two ministers from the district didn’t want me to win. I am sad to say Trinamul leaders held meetings with the Congress candidate, Abu Hasem Khan Choudhury, to chalk out a strategy. A lot of money changed hands. I will expose all these things to my party leadership,” said Hossain, a retired railway doctor.

He had finished fourth in South Malda where Abu Hasem won the election.

Although Hossain has blamed the two ministers for his defeat, Mitra’s son-in-law, Soumyadwip Sarkar, had been arrested for allegedly assaulting Election Commission officials while they were video-recording a bike rally taken out by Trinamul for the South Malda candidate. The alleged attack on April 10 occurred in the presence of Hossain.

Mitra and Chowdhury today indirectly blamed each other for the party finishing fourth in South Malda.

Without naming Krishnendu, Sabitri blamed him for the BJP coming first in Englishbazar that falls in the South Malda Lok Sabha seat. Krishnendu is the MLA from Englishbazar. Krishnendu, on the other hand, blamed Sabitri for the defeat without naming her. “In the Englishbazar municipality area, it is true that the BJP led in 23 out of 25 wards. But what happened in South Malda where we were pushed to the fourth place,” he said.

While Krishnendu was in charge of Englishbazar, the campaign in other Assembly seats in South Malda was managed by Mitra

Even as the leaders sparred , a Trinamul office-bearer from Kaliachak, Sahrul Biswas, was hit on the head by a youth. Police said the anchal president of Sujapur was attacked by Rakesh Sheikh, the nephew of a Trinamul zilla parishad candidate. “Biswas ran out, opened the door of his SUV, took out a pistol and shot at Rakesh,” said a source.

Biswas was admitted to a private nursing home here. Doctors said he had suffered a crack on his skull and was in a critical condition. Rakesh Sheikh, who was shot in the stomach, was admitted to the Malda Medical College and Hospital where doctors said he needed surgery and referred him to a hospital in Calcutta.

Sabitri visited Biswas at the nursing home and said the anchal president was attacked by a “criminal”. Krishnendu, however, branded both Biswas and Rakesh criminals.