The Telegraph
Thursday , July 4 , 2013
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Mamata poll unity call

Calcutta, July 3: Mamata Banerjee today urged Trinamul leaders to put up a united fight in the panchayat elections, at a time factional feud has affected the party.

The chief minister spoke on factionalism at a meeting with Trinamul leaders at Writers’ Buildings this afternoon, party sources said.

“Mamatadi made it clear all leaders and workers would have to work together in the districts to ensure that the party wins the maximum number of seats in the panchayat polls,” a Trinamul leader said.

In several districts such as Burdwan, Birbhum, South and North 24-Parganas, Trinamul factions allegedly tried to prevent each other’s candidates from filing nominations.

Some MLAs from South Dinajpur recently complained to Trinamul all-India general secretary Mukul Roy that district party president Biplab Mitra was pushing for tickets for nominees of his choice.

In West and East Midnapore, an alleged turf war between Roy and Tamluk MP Subhendu Adhikari has led to Trinamul candidates contesting against each other in the panchayat polls.

The party sources said around 6,000 rural seats could witness Trinamul-versus-Trinamul contests.

At today’s meeting, Mamata discussed the party’s affairs in Burdwan, South 24-Parganas and Howrah. She said she would not tolerate infighting, the sources said.

“Both ministers from Howrah, Arup Roy and Rajib Banerjee, attended the meeting. The chief minister instructed them to work together for the panchayat polls,” a source said.

A Trinamul MP said: “Many Trinamul workers are contesting as Independents in the panchayat polls after being denied tickets. Our party chief has urged people not to vote for these Independents.”

Trinamul leader Mukul Roy said today’s meeting was held to discuss utilisation of MPs’ local area development funds.

Trinamul’s annual July 21 martyrs’ day rally has been postponed to August 21.