The Telegraph
Monday , January 28 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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CPM takes leaf out of CM phone book

A CPM worker holds the cellphone next to a mike at the rally. Picture by Rajib Bose

Baruipur, Jan. 27: The CPM today took a leaf out of Mamata Banerjee’s campaign style when it played a phone-in message by Abdur Rezzak Mollah from his hospital bed at a rally in Baruipur.

Mollah was heard saying: “Ami kuri din dhore hospital-e achhi… aro kichhu din hoyto thakte hobe. Ei akromon amar manashik shakti bariye diyechhe. Ami tarun o jubakder bolte chai, apnara rastaye namun, jate Trinamul er dalal, phore aar mastanra panchayat election-e na thakte pare (I am in hospital for the past 20 days… may need to stay few more days. The attack has increased my mental strength. I want to urge the youths to hit the streets…to ensure that extortionists, pimps and goons of Trinamul are nowhere seen in the panchayat polls).”

Asked about the phone-in arrangement, a CPM state secretariat member said: “He is a senior leader. The rural elections are nearing, so the attack on him has to be highlighted.”

When told the phone-in was similar to Mamata’s long-distance addresses to earlier rallies, the CPM leader said: “Mamata used this tactic when she couldn’t or didn’t attend a meeting. But Rezzakda is in hospital. Still, if you say we are following in Mamata’s footsteps, so be it.”

During meetings in Singur and Nandigram that Mamata skipped, she had entrusted Trinamul leader Mukul Roy to ensure that her phone-in message reached the crowd.

Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, who also spoke in Baruipur, told supporters: “Mobilise people’s opinion against Trinamul anarchy and the government’s misrule before the panchayat polls.’’

The former chief minister again made a pitch for industry, saying: “We can’t ask students passing out of colleges and universities to do cultivation work. They must get jobs. For that, industries and factories are needed. But the Trinamul government’s policy of not taking lands is preventing that from happening.”