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Left Front embarrassed, Barasat candidate Prabir Ghosh changed over charge of BJP link

An old picture that purportedly shows Ghosh meeting education department officials as part of a delegation of a BJP-backed teachers’ organisation was circulated on social media

Our Special Correspondent Calcutta Published 11.04.24, 10:34 AM
Representational image

Representational image File picture

The Left Front suffered an embarrassment on Wednesday after the Forward Bloc had to change its Barasat candidate for alleged links with a frontal organisation of the BJP.

Left Front chairperson Biman Bose had announced on Friday that Prabir Ghosh of Bloc would contest from Barasat. Soon after his candidature was announced, Left Front supporters started writing graffiti urging people to vote for the Bloc candidate and launched rallies supporting Ghosh.

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However, an old picture that purportedly shows Ghosh meeting education department officials as part of a delegation of a BJP-backed teachers’ organisation circulated on social media.

The North 24-Parganas CPM district unit soon took up the matter with Bose and demanded a change of candidate.

“There can be no compromise on issues of ideology. As a question has been raised about Ghosh’s alleged link with a right-wing teacher’s organisation, we decided to change the candidate,” said a member of the Bloc state committee.

Sources said the issue was discussed at the Left Front’s meeting on Wednesday and it was decided that the Barasat candidate would be changed.

In a press release on Wednesday evening, Bose said Ghosh had been replaced with Bloc’s Sanjib Chatterjee in the Barasat Lok Sabha segment. The release also announced that RSP’s Samarendra Nath Mandal would contest from the Joynagar Lok Sabha constituency and CPM’s Tanmay Bhattacharya would be fielded in the Baranagar Assembly byelection.

Chatterjee, who helms the North 24-Parganas district unit of Bloc, said: “Initially, I did want to contest the election, but under changed circumstances, I have agreed to shoulder the responsibility the party has given me.”

Sources in the CPM said the party had requested the Bloc leadership to nominate Chatterjee from Barasat but the Front partner decided to field Ghosh.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, CPM state secretary Md. Salim did not hide his displeasure with the Bloc leadership. “The Forward Bloc should talk less,” Salim said.

The Telegraph tried to seek Bloc state general secretary leader Naren Chatterjee’s response to the controversy but his phone remained unreachable.

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