The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Biman loses seat patience

Calcutta, April 9: Left Front chairman Biman Bose today lashed out at the CPM’s smaller partners for demanding more seats for the coming panchayat elections than they deserve.

The CPM politburo member dismissed the allegation of the partners that they have been denied adequate seats despite their increased strength and said talks were still on to reach a consensus over seat sharing.

Bose, who released a 16-page manifesto for the polls, pointed out that the strength of a party should be judged only by the popular support it enjoyed. “Our party had organised a massive rally on March 30 in protest against the US aggression in Iraq. Let the Front partners disclose the number of supporters they had brought to the rally,” he said.

The Front partners, when told about Bose’s comment, said it would cause more harm to “our last-ditch efforts to put up a united fight” against the Trinamul Congress-BJP combine and the Congress. “We don’t know what Bose had exactly said about us, but he should refrain from insulting us for claiming more seats,” said RSP leader Kshiti Goswami.

Goswami said the smaller partners should be treated with “proper respect” while working out the seat-share arrangement and added that the CPM was yet to reach a consensus with his party in at least four districts — Jalpaiguri, South Dinajpur, Murshidabad and South 24-Parganas.

Forward Bloc state secretary Ashoke Ghosh was equally aggrieved. “We, too, have not been able to strike the seat-sharing deal with the CPM in North Dinajpur, Birbhum, Purulia and Murshidabad.

Khanakul bandh

The 24-hour bandh called at Khanakul in protest against the murder of a CPM panchayat poll nominee yesterday passed off peacefully, except for a span of tension when police and CPM supporters stopped a Trinamul Congress-BJP team from visiting the area.

Four persons have been arrested so far in connection with the killing of Mathur Shee.

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