A day after senior CPM leaders like Surya Kanta Mishra and Sujan Chakraborty went to Furfura Sharif — a much-respected shrine of Muslims in Bengal — in Hooghly district, state Congress president Adhir Chowdhury paid a visit to the holy shrine on Sunday.
Chowdhury, however, claimed it was purely a courtesy visit. “I had been personally invited by Furfura Sharif cleric Ibrahim Siddiqui. He had called me thrice, inviting me to come over to the three-day annual festival or ‘Urs’. So, I visited. I did not discuss a word about Assembly polls. It was purely a personal visit,” he said.
After visiting Ibrahim Siddiqui’s residence, he also paid a visit to Taha Siddiqui — another cleric of Furfura Sharif — who is known for his proximity to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
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When contacted, pirzada Quasem Siddiqui said many leaders come to seek blessings at the holy place. “Since polls are coming, they come here to seek blessings. Surya Kanta Mishra had come yesterday and asked us to pray for them,” he said.
Meanwhile, asked when Congress will announce candidates for the polls — beginning on April 4 — Chowdhury said suggestions on the probable candidates’ list has been sent to the party high command. “As soon as it is cleared, the names will be announced officially,” he said.
On the proposed tie-up with CPM, Chowdhury said: “A discussion on the seat sharing arrangement has been over with CPM. We have asked for 100 seats. Let us see what happens.”