The Telegraph
Friday , May 16 , 2014
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Dola ‘anger’ for less crowd at rallies
- Asansol Trinamul candidate ‘alleges’ non-cooperation by a section of leaders

Asansol, May 15: Asansol Trinamul candidate Dola Sen is reportedly unhappy with a section of local leaders for failing to ensure good crowds at campaign rallies and for not cooperating with her in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections, party sources said.

According to the sources, in a series of post-poll review meetings with Trinamul leaders in Asansol, Sen had expressed doubts about winning by a big margin.

When this correspondent contacted Sen, also the state INTTUC chief, she said such claims were false. “Claims about such incidents are all baseless and concocted. I will make no further comment on this matter,” Sen said.

The sources said Sen was unhappy with the crowds at campaign rallies Mamata Banerjee, Mukul Roy and Mithun Chakraborty addressed for her at the Polo Ground on April 30 and May 5.

A Trinamul leader in Asansol who attended one of the review meetings said Sen had threatened to recommend to the state leadership action against a section of local leaders. He said two of those leaders were “heavyweights” in Asansol.

The Trinamul leader said that on April 30, the chief minister, too, had expressed her annoyance with the comparatively thin crowd at the Polo Ground rally.

According to sources, the crowd at the rally MPs Mithun Chakraborty and Mukul Roy addressed at the Polo Ground on May 5 did not cross 15,000. Around 1 lakh people had attended BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s public meeting at the same venue a day earlier.

“During workers’ meetings in the run-up to the polls, Sen had threatened party workers with action if they failed to ensure substantial margins in their areas,” said a Trinamul leader in Pandaveswar block.

According to a Trinamul leader, Sen got involved in an argument with a party block president close to minister Malay Ghatak after he failed to arrange for a large number of people at the Asansol candidate’s roadshow on March 29.

Mamata, who the party sources said was aware of factional feud in Asansol and discontent over Sen’s candidature, had held three campaign rallies in the area in a single day apparently to send the message to her party’s rank and file that she had handpicked Sen and local leaders and workers would have to accept it.

IT minister and Trinamul secretary-general Partha Chatterjee today said he had not heard about the claims about Sen’s instructions to party workers. “I have not heard of any such complaint. Let the results come out first,” he said.