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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Wings clipped, Roy distances himself from Mantaj episode

Silchar, Oct 18: Excise Minister Gautam Roy today tried to put up a defiant look under-toning the victory of Mantaj Ali, the president of Karimganj Zila Parishad, in the no-confidence motion yesterday. Roy related the result with AUDF maintaining that Badrauddin Ajmal’s party had taken revenge against him for the last general election where Congress candidate Lalit Mohan Suklabaidya defeated AUDF Rajesh Mallah by a narrow margin in the last round. Talking to media in Karimganj today, Roy said he had never tried to influence the functioning of the Karimganj Zila Parishad. However, he also admitted that 17 ZPC members consulted him before initiating the no-confidence motion against president Manjit Ali. "I told them if they were unsatisfied with the present president, they were at liberty to move a no-confidence motion", he added.

He further said that at the initial stage three AUDF ZPC members took initiative in moving no-confidence motion against Ali, and till the last moment they were with Abdul Ajiz, who was projected as the next president. But, during the vote, the AUDF members backstabbed casting their votes against the motion. Roy, however, admitted that a section of Congress leaders was also instrumental in defeating the no- confidence motion. ‘Action would be taken in due course against them", Roy hinted. Presence of AUDF MLA from Badarpur Anwarul Haque along with South Karimganj MLA Siddique Ahmed, an arch-rival of Roy all along with Ali yesterday raised many a question. The procession brought out after the result, was attended by Ali-Ahmed Haque with ‘Himanta Biswa Sarmah Zindabad’ slogan echoing in the air. It is assumed that, Sarmah had been backing Ahmed, an Associate MLA of Congress, to slip the wings of Roy who had been desperately placing himself as the ultimate boss of Karimganj.

This had irritated a section of district Congress leaders who found their very existence in the brink of collapse when Roy intended to project his trusted lieutenant Gautam Gupta as the next MLA candidate in Badarpur, a Muslim dominated constituency. This had irritated the Muslim Congress leaders as well. On the other hand, Roy earned the wrath of a section of Congress leaders when he made Dr. Manas Das, a fresher in politics, the chairman of Karimganj Municipality Board, depriving a more deserving and veteran candidate Srikanta Bhattacharjee. After the victory of Mantaj Ali, Bhattacharjee came out openly announcing that from now onwards, Karimganj would be freed from the colonial rule of Roy. In other words, Gautam Roy, who projected himself as an all-powerful leader of Barak Valley, got a blow, as he, according to a certain section, deserved.

He brought upon himself more trouble as it came to the fore that a powerful leader like Himanta Biswa Sarmah had been backing Siddique Ahmed. Roy, however claimed that Sarmah had spoken to himself on Saturday night and clarified that he had no role whatsoever in the entire episode. Meanwhile, circle close to Roy, alleged that the Muslims have teamed up to thwart his emerging influence but in reality both Hindus and Muslims teamed up to clip the wing of Roy. THE SENTINEL

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