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Trinamool candidate in Malda demands probe into sting operation

“The entire (Narada sting) issue should be properly investigated by some agency (and) if anyone found guilty, action should be taken,” Abu Naser told Bengali news channel ABP Ananda.

Already seemingly rattled by the Narada sting, which purportedly showed almost all its top leaders allegedly accepting bribes, the Trinamool Congress was in for fresh embarrassment on Monday, with its candidate from Sujapur assembly constituency in Malda district, Abu Naser Khan Chowdhury, calling the allegations “distressing” and seeking a probe into the charges.

“The entire (Narada sting) issue should be properly investigated by some agency (and) if anyone found guilty, action should be taken,” Abu Naser told Bengali news channel ABP Ananda. The party, he said, should try and come clean about the allegations, and the doubts raised. “We are in politics to serve the people…corruption in politics is demoralising,” he said. He added that although nothing has been proved yet, to find so many leaders, including ministers, allegedly taking bribes on camera had its damaging impact.

Abu Naser’s remarks come in the middle of electioneering in Malda where the Trinamool Congress (TMC) is facing a stiff challenge from the combined opposition of the Communists and the Congress. Top TMC leaders did not want to react to Abu Naser’s comments on the sting.

Abu Naser is a brother of late A B A Ghani Khan Chowdhury, one of Congress’s tallest leaders in the state who won the Malda Lok Sabha seat on eight consecutive occasions after being an MLA on multiple occasions. Malda is considered the family’s pocket borough.

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West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee had inducted Abu Naser in the party in June last year. A Congress MLA from Sujapur in 2011, he was a minister in Mamata’s cabinet until the Congress withdrew support to her government.

Meanwhile, Abu Hasem Khan Chowdhury, another brother of Ghani Khan Chowdhury, came out heavily against the TMC on Monday. Speaking with the media in Malda, Abu Hasem, a Congress MP from Malda (South) and a former minister in UPA -II, said the condition of the state is now like “Mughul-e-Azam”, where an “aunt and nephew” team (referring to Mamata and Abhishek Banerjee) are running a “whimsical” government.

“The CPM-Congress combine has come as a big challenge before Mamata Banerjee,” Abu Hasem claimed, and predicted that the alliance’s leader, CPM’s Surjya Kanta Mishra, will be the new chief minister after the Assembly polls.

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Malda and Murshidabad are two traditional Congress strongholds, and the alliance is working hard to ensure that the anti-TMC vote is not split. The TMC is likely to face a straight fight with the alliance’s candidate in most of the 12 seats in Malda and 22 assembly segments in Murshidabad. The TMC had hoped to make inroads in these two districts but now faces a big challenge following the alliance formed between the once bitter rivals.

Malda is one of the few districts where AICC president Sonia Gandhi is expected to address an election rally — sources in state Congress put April 13 as a tentative campaign date. Sonia is also scheduled to address a rally in Sujapur, from where Abu Naser is contesting for the TMC.

 

First published on: 29-03-2016 at 02:18:08 am
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