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CPI(M) MLA defies party stand, takes part in Congress rally

Kolkata, June 25: CPI(M) MLA Tanmoy Bhattacharya on Saturday participated in a rally organised by Congress to protest price rise despite the Left Front Legislature Party's decision not to take part in the event.

"I didn't come here on behalf of my party. I came here as an individual and as a common man of the state as I support the issue on which the Congress is organising the programme," Bhattacharya said.

On whether it would be treated as an act of defiance, Bhattacharya said,"Nobody has the right to disrespect people's opinion or mandate. Two months back we had fought as an alliance and got 2.15 crore votes."

"I don't have the audacity to disrespect the mandate of the people and I think nobody should have that audacity. The people had elected me as a candidate of the (Left-Congress) alliance," he said.

Stating that he did not think it as an"anti-party" activity, the CPI(M) legislator said that he would answer if the party asks him about it. CPI(M) leader in the Assembly Sujan Chakrabarty said,"I will speak to Tanmoy about why he joined the rally. He claimed that he had gone there in the capacity of an individual."

On whether action will be taken against Bhattacharya, he said,"Let us talk first. We haven't thought whether action will be taken or not."

However, RSP, a Left Front partner, took exception to Bhattacharya's participation in the Congress rally, with party MLA Biswanath Chowdhury saying,"Bhattacharya shouldn't have defied the legislative party's decision."

Congress had invited CPI(M) state secretary Surya Kanta Mishra to join the rally. But after CPI(M)'s Bengal brigade faced flak from the party's central leadership last week over the alliance flouting the official party line, its state leadership and the Left Front Legislature Party had decided not to join the rally. Stressing that their alliance would continue, Congress said,"The Left has not left us".

Welcoming Bhattacharya's participation, state Congress chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said,"Those CPI(M) leaders and their allies who don't want the Left and Congress to continue their alliance forgot that it was formed by the grass-root level workers of both the parties and not the leaders."

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