The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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CPM-Cong doublespeak on BJP hit list

Calcutta, March 16: Taking a leaf out of Trinamul Congress chief Mamata Banerjee’s book, the BJP in Bengal will concentrate on exposing what it described as a curious entente between the Congress and the CPM.

BJP national president Venkaiah Naidu, who was in the city today, said the party would use the CPM-Congress entente to marshal the anti-communist forces in the state.

Accusing Congress president Sonia Gandhi of double standards, Naidu said: “It is very strange…On one hand, she teams up with the CPM in Delhi to oust us from power…On the other, she encourages the Congress workers in Bengal or Tripura to fight the ‘atrocities’ unleashed by the ruling communists,” Naidu said. He was addressing the concluding session of a three-day workshop organised by the state BJP to discuss the panchayat elections.

Naidu asked the state party leadership to highlight Sonia’s doublespeak and the contradictory stands of Congress leaders like Pranab Mukherjee and Priya Ranjan Das Munshi on the CPM.

The BJP chief said the bane of the Congress was factionalism and warned the party functionaries that any such tendency would be dealt with sternly.

Referring to the recent demonstration in front of the state BJP office, Naidu warned against bringing infighting out in the open. “These things are internal matters of the party and emotions should not be displayed publicly,” he said.

Asked about the absence of former state party chief and Union minister Tapan Sikdar from the workshop, Naidu said his counsel for the party members applied to Sikdar as well.

The BJP, once considered a cow-belt party, has made inroads into the Northeast. Naidu said after Goa and Gujarat, the party has formed a government in Nagaland, a predominantly Christian state. “We want to focus our attention on the north-eastern states,” he added.

Naidu shot down speculation of an early general election in the country. He said the general polls will be held next year as scheduled. “I don’t see any reason why the polls should be brought forward,” he told reporters after addressing the workshop.

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