CAB polls: CPI(M) asks Chakraborty not to contest

Published: Friday, January 19, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Kolkata:In a significant move, the CPI(M) in West Bengal today officially asked state Sports Minister Subhash Chakraborty not to contest the CAB election.

The party's state Secretariat, which met here to take up the issue, was unanimous that the Cricket Association of Bengal election should not be a concern for the party, and Mr Chakraborty, who had announced his candidature for the post of president, must not go ahead.

''The party or the government is not linked with the CAB presidential election. Mr.Subhash Chakraborty has been asked not to contest,'' a brief statement, issued by the state Secretariat said.

The State Secretariat meeting was attended among others, by Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and veteran leader Jyoti Basu.

The development came two days after CPI(M) state Committee Secretary Biman Basu categorically stated that he had asked Mr Chakraborty not to contest the CAB election, even though the Minister asserted that he would.

City Police Commissioner Prasun Mukherjee, who had enjoyed direct support from the Chief Minister to narrowly lose the battle against former president Jagmohan Dalmiya in the last CAB election in July, announced his candidature this time also.

But Mr Chakraborty contended that a policeman should not head a sports body. Defending his deicision to contest the poll, the Minister said the CAB required a strong man to redress the injustices being meted out to it by the BCCI.

The move of the maverick CPI(M) minister, not sharing the best of relationship with Mr Bhattacharjee, was being assumed as an attempt to put him in a spot by opposing the candidate, believed to have a tacit support from the Chief Minister.

However, unlike in the past, when his involvement in sports politics drew criticism from different quarters, Mr Bhattacharjee said he was not bothered about the CAB affairs this time.

Categorically stating that CAB election was not the CPI(M)'s cup of tea, Mr Basu told the reporters that he had asked Mr Chakraborty not to contest as the party should not have any role in such exercises.

CPI(M) Central Committee member Benoy Konar had also opposed Mr Chakraborty's decision saying there was nothing wrong if the Police Commissioner became the CAB President.

In what appeared to be a rift over the issue within the party, veteran leader Jyoti Basu stood by Mr Charkraborty, observing that to contest CAB election was a personal matter and the CPI(M) had no definite stand on the issue.

Mr Chakraborty, who created a flutter within the party while away in Bangalore to attend the All India conference of CITU, party's labour wing.

He maintained that in CPI(M) it was not required for one to seek the party's approval for contesting polls in a sports body while asserting that he would be able to convince the leadership.

The CAB election would be held to fill the vacant post after former president Jagmohan Dalmiya resigned in accordance with the rule of BCCI following his expulsion from the country's apex cricket body.


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