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Bandopadhyay files nomination against Mamata's candidate

April 21, 2004 15:50 IST

Rebel Trinamool Congress leader Sudip Bandopadhyay on Tuesday filed his nomination papers from the Calcutta North-West Lok Sabha constituency as an independent candidate backed by the Congress.

Bandopadhyay, who was accompanied by a large number of supporters to the election office, will be pitted
against the Trinamool's official candidate, Subrata Mukherjee, who also filed his nomination on Tuesday.

The Trinamool, however, said it has no immediate plans to take action against Bandopadhyay. Party spokesman Pankaj Banerjee said, "We have hardly any time to think about this, which is a non-issue for us."

Bandopadhyay, who fell out with TC chief Mamata Banerjee earlier and had repeatedly declared his intention to seek re-election from his old constituency, said immediately after filing his nomination that he had been expelled from the party for six years.

But, he clarified, he has not received any official communication from the Trinamool.

Asked about Bandopadhyay's comments, Banerjee said, "His claim is far from the truth. He is trying to become a martyr to get sympathy from the voters."

A defiant Bandopadhyay, however, said he has not  done anything wrong by filing his nomination from Calcutta North-West from where he had been elected to the Lok Sabha twice.

"The people of the constituency want me to contest and I filed the nomination after I was denied justice by the party," he said.

"The Trinamool has lost its credibility and the number of its seats will be reduced in this election. I doubt if the party will survive for six years," he added.

Bandopadhyay, who is being supported by the Congress, said he would win by a comfortable margin.

The Trinamool nominee for the seat Subrata Mukheree, who is also city mayor, however, brushed aside any challenge from the party rebel.

Mukherjee would be creating a record of sorts if he wins the Lok Sabha election as he is already a local councillor as
well as member of the state assembly.

Bandopadhyay, who was once a close confidant of Mamata Banerjee, fell out with her over his alleged hobnobbing with the Bharatiya Janata Party. Reports had circulated last year that he would be joining the A B Vajapayee government without Banerjee's knowledge.

Banerjee struck back by asking Badopadhyay to fight against Congress heavyweight Priyaranjan Dasmunshi from Raiganj in North Bengal.

Bandopadhyay refused, and declared his intention to fight as an independent from Calcutta North-West.

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