MLA out, Trinamool split wide open in Singur

After the ouster of MLA Rabindranath Bhattacharya, mud slinging between the two Trinamool Congress factions in Singur has intensified. On Wednesday, farmers, gathered at the BDO office to collect slips for subsidised rice, agitated in front of Becharam Manna, the new Minister of State for Agriculture.

Manna, who was in the office to supervise the distribution, had to face the ire of farmers unwilling to give away their land over the issue of non-availability of Rs 2,000 and 8 kg of rice per month to each family of such farmers.

Mritunjai Patra, one such farmer, said, "We have repeatedly told our leaders that we are not getting the money and ration as announced by the Chief Minister. We are yet to get our land back. The state government is not keeping the promises it made. Today, when we saw Manna and expressed our grievances."

Bhattacharya refuted the allegations of Manna, who, on Tuesday, had said that Bhattacharya's son was involved in an extortion racket in Singur.

"Becharam has at least accepted that an extortion racket is being run in Singur. He has targeted my son Tushar Kanta Bhattcharya. This is not the first time I am facing this allegation. During the Singur movement, I faced similar allegations from by CPM leaders. The allegation could not be proved. If Becharam can prove the allegations, I will not spare my son," Bhattacharya said.

"I received two complaints against Becharam from my workers. They claimed he is close a Singur-based businessman who used to work for the Tatas. I asked him about it and he said the businessman helped him get an MLA ticket. He can be close to anybody and that is not a crime. My workers also alleged he has bought a car. But Becharam told me that he took loan to buy the car, and I was satisfied with his answer."

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