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regular-article-logo Friday, 14 June 2024

Mamata Banerjee asks why Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury was treated with 'utmost respect' by BJP

Yogi Adityanath spared Bengal Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury in his attack on political opponents at election rally in Behrampore

Meghdeep Bhattacharyya, Alamgir Hossain Malda/Behrampore Published 01.05.24, 10:40 AM
Mamata Banerjee takes part in a road show in Malda town on Tuesday

Mamata Banerjee takes part in a road show in Malda town on Tuesday Soumya De Sarkar

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath spared Bengal Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury in his attack on political opponents at an election rally in Behrampore on Tuesday, shortly before Mamata Banerjee asked in Malda why the Congress’s leader in the Lok Sabha was treated with “utmost respect” by the BJP.

In his Behrampore rally two days ago, BJP national president J.P. Nadda had also refrained from speaking against Chowdhury.

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Chowdhury’s militant resistance, as the Congress’s state chief, to any understanding with Mamata in Bengal caused an inordinate delay by his high command in sealing a seat-sharing deal with her. The delay, besides the apparent reluctance of the AICC to rein in the five-time Behrampore MP, prompted the Trinamool Congress chief to pull the plug on INDIA in Bengal and contest alone.

On Tuesday, in a virtual deja vu of a Behrampore rally on April 21, 2019, the Uttar Pradesh chief minister refrained from a verbal assault on the seat’s Congress candidate Chowdhury. Instead, he spent his firepower in an onslaught — peppered with communal, inflammatory elements — on issues such as Sandeshkhali and the Trinamool regime here, besides Chowdhury’s party and its Bengal ally, the CPM.

Surely having noted such an approach by Nadda and Adityanath towards Chowdhury, Mamata brought it up in her address at Chanchal in the Malda Uttar Lok Sabha segment.

“The people should get ensnared by the BJP’s plans and plots. Our leaders get harassed every single day, but the Opposition leader in Murshidabad (Chowdhury) is accorded utmost respect,” she said.

Demanding answers on why the likes of Chowdhury and others in the state unit of his party did not endorse the movement led by her party and government against the alleged economic blockade of Bengal by the BJP-led Centre, Mamata accused them of secretly working in the saffron camp’s favour.

“Is he really a Congressman? Is he truly anti-BJP?” she asked. “This is why they help the BJP out in implementing all their malicious intentions, in every possible way.”

This was not the first time that Mamata implied that Chowdhury is favoured by the Sangh parivar and enjoys tacit support from the BJP — a suggestion he has laughed off on multiple occasions.

“But we, as you know, are not like this. We formed the INDIA bloc and will take full responsibility for bringing it to power at the Centre,” said the Bengal chief minister, whose party’s manifesto comprised commitments to the people that would be fulfilled by an INDIA-led government at the Centre.

The BJP has fielded Nirmal Kumar Saha in Behrampore, while Trinamool brought in former India all-rounder Yusuf Pathan for the seat.

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