Suryakanta Mishra is Leader of Opposition

Left Front * Mollah skips meet, 'regrets Singur remark'

The Left Front on Friday unanimously chose CPM leader Suryakanta Mishra as the new Leader of Opposition in the Assembly. Subhash Naskar of the RSP and the former irrigation minister will be his deputy in the House, which meets on May 30.

"The Left Front in consultation with its winning MLA's have decided to abstain from contesting in the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker posts," said Left Front chairman Biman Bose in Kolkata after the Left parties held its first state-level meeting after it was routed out in the recent Assembly elections.

The CPM state committee also held its meeting to take a stock of the reports from several district committees concerning the poll debacle. The party also discussed its future plans and its role as the Opposition in the new Assembly.

"We will play the role of a responsible and dutiful Opposition," Bose later said.

Abdur Rezzaq Mollah, the outspoken and controversial CPM leader, however, did not attend the party state committee meeting. He skipped the meeting citing "ailing health". Party insiders said that a closed door meeting was held on late Thursday night in which Bose reprimanded Rezzaq again for his remarks and told him to not to speak about his grievances in the public. "He regretted for his remarks regarding Singur land deal. Now it's a closed chapter," Bose today said.

The former land reforms minister in the previous Left Front ministry, had said that had the land at Singur been returned to farmers, the Front would also have returned to power, inviting the wrath of the party again.

Mollah had also said that the acquired land could be returned to the farmers under existing laws and also offered to speak to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee about it, if invited.

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