Sovan relents after Didiís call

Rift in TMC Says will fight back against those who entered party post-Singur.

Trinamoool Congress chief whip in the Assembly, Sovandeb Chattopadhyay, who was roughed up by some Calcutta University employees belonging to a rival group within the party, is learnt to have told his close associates that he will "fight back only to expose some leaders who defected to Trinamool from the CPM and Naxal outfits and are now harming party chief Mamata Banerjee silently".

Followers of Chattopadhyay on Friday said they were fighting a "save dignity battle" against those who joined Trinamool from the CPM and Naxal outfits during post-Singur episode and are now trying to rule over the old leaders of the party and running "syndicate raj."

In a dramatic twist to the controversy over Chattopadhyay's outburst, Mamata called him over phone this afternoon. Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee, who had met him on Thursday, also telephoned him and urged him not to take out the padyatra which his followers were planning to organise at Esplanade to protest against Tuesday's incident. Industry minister Partha Chatterjee also spoke to him.

Chattopadhyay, who never thought twice to side with party chief during all her difficult days, said earlier that he was hurt because the party has not yet issued statement condemning the incident. "All I want is some words of condemnation from the highest authority of our party. But the party has not yet condemned the incident. If such incident continues to occur, old-timers of the party will face humiliation. If the party does not react to such an incident, then what will happen to the party's old-timers whose relentless fight against the CPM ensured the fall of Left rule?" he asked.

The veteran Trinamool leader said that party leaders had telephoned him several times last couple of days and spoke against the incident. Asked about his future steps, Chattopadhyay said he would remain in the party till he gets back his honour.

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