West Bengal Left Front faces heat from disgruntled MPs

March 13th, 2009 - 8:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, March 13 (IANS) With many of its sitting candidates denied renomination, West Bengal’s ruling Left Front (LF) is facing trouble from its own ranks ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
Not being re-nominated by their parties, four sitting Lok Sabha members from the LF have expressed dissatisfaction, and one of them has already switched loyalty to the opposition Trinamool Congress.

“I was not even informed that I was denied a Lok Sabha ticket this time. In the 2004 election, I won the Jaynagar seat by more than 230,000 votes. But surprisingly, my party did not give me a ticket this time,” Sanat Mondal of the LF constituent Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) told IANS Friday.

RSP has fielded a new face, Nemai Barman, in Jaynagar this time.

“I don’t know why my party has taken such a decision and fielded a new face when the Front is going thorough a really bad phase. Many of our party workers have already started protesting against the decision. They’ve also sent a communique to the party leadership informing them about the discontent amongst the grassroot workers,” Mondal said.

Hundreds of RSP workers staged protests in front of the district party office in Alipurduar as the party had given ticket to Manohar Tirki, instead of its sitting MP Joachim Baxla.

Baxla, however, declined to comment on whether he would join any other political party.

“People are unhappy that I have been denied a ticket this time. But now I don’t have any plan to join any other political party,” he said.

Another LF partner Forward Bloc (FB) has also not gone unscathed. Its Cooch Behar MP Hiten Barman resigned from the party within 48 hours of being denied Lok Sabha ticket.

Leading a rebellion within Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), Abu Ayash Mondal, MP from the erstwhile Katwa seat in Burdwan district, left his party when he was not renominated.

Mondal promptly joined the Trinamool Congress, which welcomed him offering the party’s vice-president post. The CPI-M hit back by expelling him.

Mondal said the party never showed the courtesy to officially inform him that he was not being given the ticket this time.

“I was always kept at an arm’s length in the party. I was not made a party to decisions,” he said. “They haven’t even cared to let me know that I have been expelled,” Mondal said.

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