Truce descends on feuding Congress family in Malda

April 1st, 2009 - 9:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Malda (West Bengal), April 1 (IANS) All seems well now in the feuding family of the late central minister Abu Barkat Ataul Ghani Khan Chowdhury in this northern West Bengal district.
With the Congress leadership formally giving the party symbol to Mausam Benazir Noor for the newly created Malda North seat, her maternal uncle Abu Hasem Khan Chowudhury was seen Wednesday campaigning alongside the youngster, hand in hand.

“Now that everything is finalised, we will campaign vigorously and win both the seats in Malda,” said Abu Hashem, the district Congress president and the party nominee from the adjoining Malda (South) constituency.

Mausam echoed. “We will win both the seats. If we can do so, Malda may again get a union ministerial berth as the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) is all set to return to power. And this will definitely give an impetus to Malda’s development”.

The high command’s decision to nominate Mausam had earlier created bitterness in the Khan Chowdhury household, with Mausam’s maternal uncle and ticket aspirant Abu Naser Khan Chowdhury crying foul.

Hashem also initially sided with his brother, saying the Congress workers were rooting for Naser.

Hashem, Naser and Masuam all belong to the Congress family of the Khan Chowdhuris - made famous by late Congress leader and central minister Abu Barkat Ataul Ghani Khan Chowdhury, who never lost an election from Malda.

The district was considered a fief of Ghani Khan, who was widely respected for the development work done here during his several stints in the union cabinet.

Even after his death, Congress politics in Malda has revolved around the Ghani Khan family. Mausam became the Congress legislator from Sujapur this year succeeding her mother Ruby Noor.

Ruby Noor, who was also the Malda district Congress president, died last year.

Initially, thanks to strong recommendations from Hashem, Naser was considered the first choice for the Congress from Malda North till a problem cropped up over his Indian citizenship.

Naser returned to the country after spending long years in Switzerland. He kept away from the media Wednesday.

The constituency will vote April 30.

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