Cadres spoil Buddha lunch

Go back home, former CM tells those protesting choice of candidates at Alimuddin

By Anindya Sengupta in Calcutta
  • Published 12.03.16
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Bhattacharjee tells cadres protesting at Alimuddin Street to go back. Picture courtesy ABP Ananda

Calcutta, March 11: Former chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today lost his cool at the sight of cadres protesting outside the CPM's Alimuddin Street headquarters, raised his voice and told them to "go back home", reminding them that "such things do not happen in our party".

The 50-odd cadres had come to Alimuddin Street to air their grievances against the CPM's decision to allot the Bhatpara Assembly seat in North 24-Parganas to the RJD.

When Bhattacharjee was getting into his car to leave for home for lunch, he saw the agitators. Told that the cadres had gathered to protest the party's decision, Bhattacharjee raised his right hand and told them: "Such demonstrations and shouting inside the party office won't help. Such things do not happen in our party. This is not in our party's culture. You all go back home. Go back home."

"If you have anything to say, give it in writing," Bhattacharjee added before getting into his car.

Many in the party said the former chief minister was highlighting the CPM's "essential difference" with Trinamul, where discontent has been aired in several places over the choice of candidates.

Some CPM leaders, however, spoke of the need for a more democratic approach. "There can always be dissenting voices. So, rather than driving out disgruntled cadres, it's better to hear them out. That will usher in more democracy in our party," a leader said.

When the cadres continued with their protest after Bhattacharjee left, three of them were called upstairs and heard out by state secretariat member Rabin Deb. The veteran spoke to the trio for around 10 minutes, following which the protesters left. CPM state secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra was at Alimuddin Street during the protest.

Yesterday, CPM workers had stormed an office of the Revolutionary Communist Party of India in Nadia's Santipur to protest the Left's decision to field an RCPI candidate from there. The RCPI's Sanjoy Basu, a Calcutta High Court lawyer, is the front nominee for Santipur.

Today too, CPM workers gathered in front of the RCPI office and threatened to lock it up if their party was not allowed to contest the seat.

Asked about today's demonstration in front of the Alimuddin Street headquarters, senior CPM leader Nepaldeb Bhattacharjee, who hails from North 24-Parganas, said: "We condemn the incident. This is not done in a communist party. One must realise there are compulsions in seat-sharing. However, we will see if there is any room for negotiations."

The RJD's Noor Ahmed and Avinash Kumar Agarwal will contest from Bhatpara and Jorasanko, respectively.

"You all know that the RJD is not a part of the Left Front. But we have allotted them two seats as part of the broad coalition of secular and democratic forces that will contest against Trinamul," Left Front chairman Biman Bose had announced yesterday.

The front has left two seats - Howrah (Central) and Islampur in North Dinajpur - for the JDU.