The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Idris and Sultan face party music

Calcutta, Nov. 22: The Congress’s Idris Ali and the Trinamul Congress’s Sultan Ahmed face action from their parties for their roles in Wednesday’s street mayhem.

Idris, president of the All India Minority Forum, belongs to the Congress. Ahmed is a Trinamul general secretary.

“The leadership is contemplating action against Idris. Although he does not hold any key post in the state unit, he was a former general secretary of the party’s minority cell and is still a party man,” state Congress general secretary Jayanta Bhattacharya said tonight.

Bhattacharya said state leaders had met to discuss possible action and that senior leaders in Delhi, including Mohsina Kidwai, the general secretary in charge of the Bengal unit, had been informed of Wednesday’s agitation.

The chief of the party’s minority cell, S.M.S. Hyder, said Idris’s role in the trouble “must not be lost sight of”.

“Our party’s image has suffered because of Idris’s involvement.”

Idris appeared hurt that moves were under way to dump him. “Everybody knows that the Congress is backing my forum. But today, party leaders are disowning me. This is not expected from them,” he said.

Ahmed’s fate, though, seemed to have been already decided.

“Sultan should not have declared that his boys were among the rioters. After yesterday’s incident, he can’t hold a key post like that of a general secretary,” a Trinamul source quoted Mamata Banerjee as saying.

M. Nur Uzzaman, who replaced Ahmed as chief of Trinamul’s minority cell two years ago, said the general secretary had tarnished the party’s image by declaring that he sent his boys when the trouble broke out yesterday.

Uzzaman was also upset with Ahmed for skipping a working committee session of the party on November 15 to attend a public meeting with Siddiqullah Chowdhury’s Jamait Ulema-i-Hind, which has been campaigning for the cancellation of Taslima Nasreen’s visa.

Ahmed, however, insisted that he had done nothing wrong.

“The trouble broke out in many parts of my Entally area. So, many of my boys had joined yesterday’s movement spontaneously to demand cancellation of Taslima’s visa,” he said.

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