A group of TMC supporters blocked the Raiganj-Bindol state highway at Rampur for hours this morning, demanding that the party change election candidate Satyajit Barman in the 33 (SC) Hemtabad Assembly constituency in North Dinajpur district.
Huge traffic congestion was seen on the road following the road blockade. TMC leaders also demonstrated in Chakulia, demanding that the TMC poll candidate Minhajul Arfin Azad in the 31- Chakulia seat be changed.
The disgruntled group of party workers said they would not work for the party during the elections if their demands were not met.
“CPI-M candidates won the Hemtabad seat in both 2011 and 2016 Assembly elections. In the last two years, our TMC organization has been extremely strong. We were ready to win the seat this year, but Satyajit Barman, against whom there are so many allegations including that of extortion, was chosen as the TMC candidate. He will not be able to win the polls,” said the Vice President of the North Dinajpur TMC committee and a member of the TMC led board of the Raiganj Panchayat Samity, Nazrul Islam.
“Our supporters want a fresh and transparent candidate to contest the elections. As such, we demand that Miss Mamata Banerjee replace our candidate immediately. If that does not happen, several TMC supporters and workers have informed me that they would not be part of the election work. I have informed our district president of the matter,” he added.
The President of the Chakulia block TMC committee, Sejbuddin Munna, on the other hand, said that their district TMC committee had sought a list of candidates from their block committee. “We sent a list of three candidates to our district committee. But we found that our proposal was ignored and a candidate from outside, Minhajul Arfin Azad, was declared the candidate for the Chakulia seat. Most of our workers have not accepted him because he has no influence in the locality. Demanding a local candidate, our members agitated in the Chakulia Market today,” Munna said.
“We demand that Miss Mamata Banerjee change our candidate immediately. Otherwise, a majority of our members are unwilling to work for the party in the elections,” he added.
The President of the North Dinajpur TMC committee, Kanaiyalal Agarwal, admitted that that a section of the TMC workers and leaders were not happy with the candidate choice. “We are trying to settle the matter after meeting them. However, everyone will have to work for the party,” he said.