CAB polls: Chakraborty withdraws his candidature

Published: Wednesday, January 24, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Kolkata:Putting to rest all speculations, West Bengal Sports Minister Subhas Chakraborty today succumbed to party pressure and withdrew his candidature from the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) elections.

The maverick minister, who had announced his candidature against city Police Commissioner Prasun Mukherjee for the post of President promised not to go ahead following a request by Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and CPI(M) state secretary Biman Basu in a closed door meeting at the party's state head quarter.

''This morning I talked to my ministerial colleague Subash Chakraborty following a request by Mr Biman Basu. I asked him to step aside from CAB elections. He realised and decided not to contest,'' the Chief Minister told the reporters at the Writer's building hours after the meeting.

After the meeting was over Mr Chakraborty, however, refused to divulge anything to the reporters saying he was not the party spokesman. ''I have told you before that whatever I have to say I will tell you later.''

Today is the last date for filing nomination for the election being held on February one to fill up the post of president, left vacant following the resignation of Jagamohan Dalmiya.

Mr Chakraborty had made a case for his candidature stating that CAB needed a strong man like him to redress the injustice of BCCI.

He also objected that the policeman should head the sports body.

However, observing that the party should not have a role to play in CAB politics, CPI(M) state secretary Biman Basu had categorically stated that he had asked Mr Chakraborty not to contest.

The chain of event led things to the extent of party discipline as CPI(M) state committee made an official statement on Friday last, saying that the minister had been asked to refrain from contesting the CAB poll.

As Mr Chakraborty is not known for having best of relationship with the Chief Minister, the issue provided a round for the smaller parties of the ruling Left Front to play their respective roles, while having a running dispute with the government's land aqcuisition for Tata motors project at Singur and an SEZ at Nandigram.

Fuelling the controversy, Water Resources Minister and CPI(M) leader Nandagopal Bhattacharya had alleged that instructions were being issued by the Chief Minister's Office asking the district magistrates to provide support to the Police Commissioner to ensure his victory.

In the last CAB election held in July 2006, Mr Mukherjee fought Mr Dalmiya with an open support from the Chief Minister, who made a public statement wishing the ouster of Mr Dalmiya.

However, with the former CAB minister being out of picture this time the Chief Minister did not commit any public support to Mr Mukherjee this time though believed to have thrown his weight behind him.

Denying that the CMO had directed the district magistrates to help the police commissioner in the CAB elections, Mr Bhattarjee today said the allegation was 'baseless'.

''It is being said that letters were sent to magistrate's from my office. This is totaly irrelevant and baseless,'' he said without naming the water resources minister.

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.


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