Ticket punctured, MP cites cycling skill at 73

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  • Published 7.03.14

Feb. 6: Two Trinamul Congress MPs today expressed dissatisfaction at the party’s decision not to field them for the Lok Sabha elections.

Sucharu Ranjan Halder, who represents Ranaghat in Nadia, and Gobinda Naskar, the MP from Bongaon in North 24-Parganas, alleged that they had not been informed that they would not be renominated.

Trinamul, which announced its list of candidates yesterday, has given tickets to all but two of its 19 sitting MPs.

“I was disheartened after seeing Mamatadi announcing the name of some other person for the Ranaghat seat,” Halder told The Telegraph this afternoon.

Sougata Burman is the Trinamul nominee for the Ranaghat constituency this time. Halder had won the seat by a margin of over one lakh votes in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. His son is married to the eldest daughter of magician P.C. Sorcar, who is contesting on a BJP ticket.

“Many Trinamul workers, including panchayat pradhans and zilla parishad members, have been coming to my home since the list was announced yesterday afternoon. They have told me that they are unhappy because I have not been renominated,” Halder said.

Skin specialist Halder, 73, said there had been “rumours” that he was ill. “I cycle 2km every morning to keep myself fit,” he said.

Halder, who retired from the army as Lt. Col. in 1995, said he had agreed to contest the Ranaghat seat “merely after a telephone conversation with Mamatadi on March 9, 2009”.

“But when I asked Mamatadi in January this year if I would get a ticket this time, she did not give any hint that I would not. The sudden decision to replace me is bad, particularly because I was kept in the dark,” he said.

A Trinamul source said Halder had incurred the leadership’s wrath because of his “frequent absence” from organisational meetings and party programmes. “Sucharuda is hardly seen at organisational meetings. A report mentioning this had been submitted to all-India general secretary Mukul Roy,” he said.

Naskar, the Bongaon MP, said he was “hurt” at not being considered for the Lok Sabha polls.

Naskar, who had won the seat by a margin of 92,826 votes in 2009, said: “I feel hurt even though Trinamul has given my daughter the ticket to contest the Joynagar seat. I was not even informed that I would not be renominated.”

Naskar, 76, from whose seat Matua matriarch Binapani Devi’s son Kapil Krishna Thakur is contesting, added: “When I had called on Mukul sometime back, he had said my renomination was being considered.”

A Trinamul source said Naskar was dropped because of “prolonged illness”. “Gobinda has been ailing for a long time and sometimes, he skips Lok Sabha sessions because of this. That is why his daughter was given the ticket,” a Trinamul general secretary said.

Some Congress MLAs who defected to Trinamul recently also resented the denial of tickets.

Humayun Kabir, who had resigned as Rejinagar MLA to join Trinamul in 2012, said: “I am disillusioned. Trinamul has named an outsider for the Behrampore Lok Sabha seat.” The Murshidabad leader said he “should have been allowed” to take on Adhir Chowdhury in Behrampore.

Singer Indranil Sen has been nominated for the Behrampore seat.