Cong in disarray, CLP meet damp squib
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Infighting and dissensions rattled the state Congress after the break-up of its alliance with Trinamool Congress, while the meeting of the Congress Legislature Party, convened today to discuss the party's strategy in the Assembly, proved a damp squib.
Not more than 20 of 42 MLAs attended the meeting that was presided over by CLP leader Md Sohrab.
Sohrab later sent a proposal adopted at the meeting to the AICC requesting permission to apply to the Speaker for the post of Leader of Opposition.
While state Congress president Pradip Bhattacharya was supposed to attend the meeting, other MLAs who were conspicuous by their absence included former minister for small irrigation Manas Bhunia and former minister of state for parliamentary affairs Manoj Chakrabarty.
While Bhunia is in Delhi, Chakrabarty was in Jangipur campaigning for Abhijt Mukherjee, the candidate for the bypoll for the seat.
What rattled the party most was the claim for the post of leader of CLP (held by Sohrab) by Bhunia. Bhunia wants this post if he is not made president of the Pradesh Congress. While Sohrab is in no mood in relinquish his post, so far as the PCC president is concerned Bhunia has a contender in Behrampre Congress MP Adhir Chowdhury, who wants either the post of PCC president or a ministerial berth in the central cabinet.
To add to that, the six former ministers want to become members of an Assembly committee.
The Congress looked in total disarray in the Assembly as, in the face of a fierce TMC attack, they mounted a feeble defence of FDI in retail.
Meanwhile, the CPM has geared up for its defence of the post of the Leader of Opposition. In this connection they have referred to Speaker Shaila Mukherjee's 1952 ruling, which says that being the largest opposition party does not automatically bring the post to that party.
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