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Rahul effect: Confusion in Cong-Trinamool tieup

Rahul effect: Confusion in Cong-Trinamool tieup

Author: Saugar Sengupta
Publication: The Pioneer
Date: May 8, 2009
URL: http://www.dailypioneer.com/174744/Rahul-effect-Confusion-in-Cong-Trinamool-tieup.html

Mamata men cross-vote in Behrampore, Jangipur

The Congress and Trinamool Congress mahajot (grand alliance) broke in Behrampore and Jangipur constituencies in the final hours of Thursday's poll, when peeved followers of Mamata Banerjee persuaded electors to vote for the Opposition candidates (RSP in Behrampore and CPI(M) in Jangipur), senior Murshidabad Congress leaders alleged.

As the Congress and TC cadre worked at cross purpose, Trinamool leader Partho Chattopadhyay refuted allegations raised by sitting Behrampore Congress MP Adhir Chowdhury, calling it "a Marxist ploy" to divide the alliance.

The confusion in the Congress-TC alliance was triggered following Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi's sending open feelers to the Left parties.

Despite senior Congress leader Veerappa Moily's efforts to clear the air, Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee said she would pull out of any alliance where the Marxists were involved. Even as Moily tried to appease the Trinamool, Pranab Mukherjee said his party's alliance with the Trinamool did not bar any arrangement with the Left at the Centre.

In the midst of all these, Murshidabad district Congress president Adhir Chowdhury on Thursday alleged the Trinamool Congress had broken the alliance, for its supporters were voting for the RSP candidate. He, however, added Trinamool's betrayal would not affect his party's chances as "they have no presence in the district".

Reports from Jangipur said that the Trinamool men egged on voters to vote for Mriganka Bhattacharya of the CPI(M). However, Pranab Mukherjee refused to be drawn into the conflict, saying things were working well for him.

Apart from cross voting, the Congress and the Trinamool differed when Mukherjee said, "Barring a few stray incidents, the polling was peaceful." Mamata told reporters in Kolkata that CPI(M) had indulged in large-scale violence in Thursday's poll. "Anybody may say anything, but the CPI(M) has taken recourse to rampant booth capturing and violence in the poll."

On the question of anti-establishment voting in West Bengal, Mukherjee once again tended to differ with Mamata Banerjee saying, "This is parliamentary election and the basic presumption of anti-incumbency voting is wrong." The Trinamool chief earlier said anti-incumbency voting would see the CPI(M) out of West Bengal.

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