SENIOR CONGRESS leader Manas Bhunia, who was on Sunday issued a showcause notice by state party chief Adhir Chowdhury for not quitting as PAC chairman of the state Assembly, on Monday left for New Delhi to meet party president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi to explain to them his stand on the issue.
“I have received an email from state Congress president Adhir Chowdhury. I have read it and will reply in a day or two… I have sought an appointment with the AICC president and vice-president. After I meet them, I will explain everything to them in detail,” Bhunia said on the sidelines of a convention of Intuc, the Congress’ trade union wing.
He added: “I have been in the Congress for 46 years now, and they are humiliating me and trying to throw me out of the party… My role is being criticised. I can tell you that till I am driven out, I am not going to let go of the Congress flag.”
Bhunia would wait till July 28 for an appointment with Sonia and Rahul, following which, he would return to Kolkata for the PAC weekly meeting on July 29.
While Congress wanted to nominate a candidate from CPM, with which it had contested the Assembly elections, for the post, Bhunia had assumed office as the PAC chairman and also convened its meetings.
Addressing the Intuc convention, Bhunia was critical of the Left Front and the Centre, while praising the Trinamool Congress government. “The condition of the jute industry in Bengal is at an all time low and the Trinamool government is trying to revive it. The tea industry too is suffering. The state government’s initiatives, including rice for Rs 2 a kg and giving people 100-days’ work under MGNREGA scheme, have helped families of tea garden workers… While Left had only been able to provide work for 24 days in the 100-day work scheme, under Trinamool, the figure has gone up to 38 days,” he said.
When reminded that in the recent past, he had said that when Left was in power, he had never been accused of murder and molestation, which he was facing during the Trinamool rule, Bhunia said: “My house was attacked by Left. My mother had died because of the Left. I never accepted them from my heart but had entered into an alliance for the state polls with them following AICC instructions.”
Ramen Pandey, Intuc Bengal president, came out in support of Bhunia. “Congress is operating the way it should in Bengal. I will bring it to the notice of the AICC high command. If there was a unanimous decision to give the PAC chairmanship to the Left, why was he (Bhunia) nominated? Had he not been nominated, there would not have been any confusion at all,” he said.