The Trinamool Congress (TMC) MLA for Islampur in the North Dinajpur district, Abdul Karim Choudhury, has declared that he will choose candidates for the panchayat elections in the Islampur block and that, in the event if the party leadership does not support the list, he will field them as Independents. Choudhury claimed, “In preparation for the panchayat elections, I will compile a list of candidates and submit it to the state leadership. The candidates will contest as Independents if Mamata Banerjee doesn’t accept the list.”
The MLA charged Kanaialal Agarwala, the Trinamool district president of North Dinajpur, and Zakir Hossain, the Trinamool head of the Islampur block, with orchestrating the assault earlier this month when TMC supporters from two groups clashed at Matikunda in Islampur, leaving a youth dead. Choudhury demanded that the party take action against them and abstained from a meeting in Kolkata summoned by the state leadership to talk about the panchayat elections.
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The party officials were taken aback by Choudhury’s claim, as Mamata Banerjee, the supreme leader of the TMC party, had just a few days earlier claimed that she would choose the party’s candidates to contest in panchayat elections. However, when asked if he intended to field dummy candidates, the MLA sounded unconcerned. “Everyone has the freedom to contest elections. Additionally, there are a lot of genuine party members who want to contest and serve the public in an open and honest way. Since we want panchayats free of corruption, we have no right to ignore their goals”, continued Choudhury.
Choudhury claimed that Agarwala and Hossain had engaged in violent politics. “I want to stop Islampur’s policies from being like this. That is why I considered choosing worthy candidates down the street,” he said. When informed of the MLA’s comments, district Trinamool leaders advised Choudhury to adhere to party guidelines. “He is a top party leader and an MLA. We honour him. He is allowed to submit a list to the party, but he must follow its ruling”, according to Agarwala.
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