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Congress Boycotts Mamata's Railway Function In Bengal

PTI 15 Dec 2010, 15:38:44 IST
Kolkata, Dec 15: Congress activists today blocked rail tracks near Sagardighi in Murshidabad district, where Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee was scheduled to attend a function. Congress leaders boycotted the function.

Congress workers set up banners on the tracks and shouted slogans demanding a road overbridge at Behrampur and doubling of the lines from Plassey to Behrampore in the district.

Earlier in the day, Congress leader and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee called off his scheduled visit to Sagardighi for attending the function after the helicopter in which he was to fly was stated to have developed a technical problem.

"We have raised these demands at various places. Our MP Adhir Chowdhury has also raised this in Parliament, but our appeals have fallen on deaf ears. So we are forced to organise the blockade to draw the attention of railway authorities," an agitator, under the banner of Behrampore Town Congress, said.

Train services in the Lalgola-Ranaghat section of Eastern Railway remained disrupted for nearly three hours as a result of the blockade.

The blockade was lifted around 9:30 am after senior railway officials assured the agitators that their demands would be looked into.

The Sagardighi function was to lay the foundation stone for track doubling work between Sagardighi and Nalhati Junction, Azimganj Jn and Manigram, and from Lalgola to Jiaganj in the district.

Berhampore MP Adhir Chowdhury, who is known to be anti-Mamata Banerjee, told reporters the doubling of the line from Plassey to Behrampore (which falls within his Lok Sabha constituency) had not been taken up by the railways, while the doubling of the tracks from Ziaganj to Lalgola was taken up.

The MP, who was invited to the function at Sagadighi, did not attend it. The Congress MP from Murshidabad Mannan Hossain, who turned up, left after hearing that the Finance minister would not be attending the function.

No local Congress leader turned up for the function as there was no Congress banner on the dais, which had a profusion of Mamata Banerjee's portraits. PTI