Congress MLA and Leader of Opposition Abdul Mannan on Monday said ex-party leader Manas Bhunia had sent him a “blank page” in response to his letter seeking clarity on Bhunia’s recent defection to Trinamool Congress (TMC).
“We want that those who have switched over to TMC should resign as Congress MLAs and go for a by-election. Just like I have been sending letters to all MLAs who had allegedly switched sides, I had sent Dr Bhunia three letters to the addresses available according to the records of the Assembly via speed post…In his reply has sent me a blank page inside an envelope which was sent to my home address in Hooghly,” Mannan said at a press conference, holding up a blank page.
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Taking a dig at Bhunia, he said, “He has lost his mental balance. I wish him a speedy recovery. He is a doctor so he would know how to take care of himself. I will write to him again assuming that the person who he had trusted to send me the reply has done some mischief to disturb me. I give him another 48 hours to reply.”
Mannan also said that the move could be an attempt by the former Public Accounts Committee chairman to buy time, but after 48 hours, the party would take “legal steps” against him. “We have full faith in the judiciary and the speaker of the Assembly. We believe these turncoats will lose their Assembly membership, going by the provisions of the Constitution,” he said.
Bhunia however said he had replied to Manan’s letter”. “I had received the letter on September 23, to which I had replied within the time mentioned. The letter had been written on my letterhead and was sent from the GPO. Why Mannan is denying it, I have no idea,” he told The Indian Express.
Responding to Bhunia’s claim, Mannan said, “If he had given a proper reply, he should be having a copy of it. Why not make it public? He is so fond of conducting press conferences. Why can’t he show the press what he had replied or send it to me via WhatsApp?” Mannan asked.