Kolkata, Apr 8 (PTI) Upset with Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP Abhishek Manu Singhvi over his decision to defend the TMC in the Supreme Court in a case related to the upcoming panchayat polls in West Bengal, several party workers raised slogans against him here today.
The panchayat polls will be held in three phases in West Bengal — on May 1, 3 and 5. The opposition parties in the state have alleged attacks and intimidations by the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) workers to prevent them from filing nominations for the election.
Singhvi represented the West Bengal government at the Supreme Court yesterday during the hearing of a petition filed by the BJP over the alleged violence related to the panchayat polls.
A handful of Congress workers shouted “Manu Singhvi go back” at the airport this morning, when the Congress leader, who was here to attend a private event, was about to leave the city.
Singhvi, who recently won a Rajya Sabha seat from West Bengal with the TMC’s support, appeared unperturbed by the slogan-shouting and entered the airport flashing a “victory” sign.
Around 25 Congress workers were arrested yesterday after Singhvi was shown black flags on the city streets.
A senior Congress leader said the state unit would inform party president Rahul Gandhi about the matter.
“He (Singhvi) is a Congress MP, but he is still fighting in favour of the TMC in this case. Congress workers are being beaten up every day and we are not being allowed to file nominations. This will send a wrong message to the rank and file of the party,” he added.
State Congress president Adhir Chowdhury, who moved the high court on Friday seeking deployment of central paramilitary forces in the state to ensure a free-and-fair panchayat election, expressed his disappointment over Singhvi representing the TMC in court.
“It is very surprising and disappointing to see that while I am approaching the Calcutta High Court against the state government, one of our MPs is arguing in favour of the ruling party in the Supreme Court,” he said.
Singhvi, on his part, said his arguments in court were based on facts and figures provided by the chief secretary and home secretary of West Bengal.
“I was appearing against the BJP and the Congress is not a party to the petition. No one knew that the Congress had also moved a petition at the same time in the Calcutta High Court. I discovered it when someone pointed it out in the court. I think there was a lack of communication,” he said.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.