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CPM throws ‘growth’ at rival face

Malda, April 16: The Left Front in Malda has decided to use development as its poll plank to counter Kotwali candidates Abu Hashem Khan Chowdhury and Mausam Noor in the two Lok Sabha seats.

Both the brother and niece of the late A.B.A. Ghani Khan Chowdhury have been campaigning in their respective constituencies, promising to “complete” the unfinished work of the departed Congress leader. The CPM is set to counter the claims once the campaign hits a high from April 19 when the Higher Secondary examinations give over.

“For a long time the Congress has held the Malda Lok Sabha seat. It has been at the helm of the Malda zilla parishad and the municipalities too. But where is the development in the district,” asked Malda North CPM candidate Sailen Sarkar. His tack was that if there was no incomplete work at hand then the Congress talk about completion did not arise.

About Abu Hashem who won the Malda Lok Sabha seat after the death of Ghani Khan Chowdhury, Sarkar said: “He had talked about reopening the airport, setting up a central university and rural electrification, but delivered nothing.”

Showcasing his achievements as a minister in the Left Front government, Sarkar added: “I have built a stadium in Ratua for Rs 30 crore, provided arsenic-free water to vast areas and taken power connections across the Mahananda.”

He alleged that the three Assembly constituencies of Harishchandrapur, Kharba and Ratua which were once under the Raiganj Lok Sabha constituency, where Priya Ranjan Das Munshi was the MP, had seen no development as well.

Mausam, however, was quick to counter the Left Front’s strategy. “The people of Malda know fully well that allocation under central schemes had increased during Priyamama’s tenure in Delhi. There are 600 very underdeveloped villages in the district and the state government was supposed to spend funds for rural development,” she said. However, Mausam said Das Munshi’s sudden ill health was a serious drawback for the district. “If he was well there would have been an FM station in Chanchole. He had also laid the foundation stone for a stadium that he could not complete,” she said.

On the other hand, Abu Hashem, said the Centre had already sanctioned a technical university and work on it would begin as soon as land was made available by the state government.

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