Calcutta, Sept. 10: The Murshidabad district Trinamul has told the leadership that its supporters want a party candidate to contest the October 10 Jangipur by poll and they were “unwilling” to support a Congress nominee.
“Partymen in Murshidabad are not in good terms with Congress activists because of their big-brother attitude there. My party workers have said they won’t back a Congress nominee for the Jangipur seat,” district president Mohammed Ali said after the meeting with Trinamul all-India general secretary Mukul Roy.
According to junior fisheries minister Subrata Saha, the Trinamul workers had been insisting on fielding their own nominee. He added that the district unit has “left it to Mamatadi to take a call”. “Party activists in Murshidabad have been insisting on contesting the seat on their own, citing the steady consolidation of the organisation since the Assembly polls,” he said.
The Jangipur seat fell vacant after Pranab Mukherjee became the President in July. His son Abhijit, the Congress MLA from Birbhum’s Nalhati, is one of the aspirants.
Asked what the district unit would do if Mamata Banerjee backed a Congress nominee for Jangipur, Ali said: “Our party activists cannot forget how (Behrampore Congress MP) Adhir Chowdhury had tried to ruin the prospects for our nominees in the four Assembly seats last year by fielding Independents.”
A Trinamul vice-president said Mamata was unlikely to queer the pitch for the Congress by fielding a party nominee for Jangipur. “We are willing to continue our relations with the Congress both at the Centre and in the state. Mamata does not want a strain in the ties by putting up her nominee for Jangipur,” he said.
Chowdhury, at a workers’ meeting in the Murshidabad today, announced two more names other than Abhijit for the by poll. “Apart from Pranab Mukherjee’s son, two other Congress functionaries for the Jangipur seat are Murshidabad vice-president Ali Hossain Mondal and Behrampore town Congress president Atish Sinha ,” he said.
He, however, said Abhijit stood a better chance of being chosen as the final nominee.