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By A Newsman

Kolkata, 21 April: ON a day Mamata Banerjee has been re-elected the chairperson of Trinamool in an organisational meeting, the party’s leading youth face and state transport minister Suvendu Adhikari was conspicuous by his absence from the meeting.

Trinamool sources said that Adhikari, whose family enjoys tremendous political clout in East Midnapore district, neither informed nor took permission from the party for his absence from the crucial meeting that was attended all Trinamool leaders, including those from other states.

His father Sisir Adhikari and younger brother Dibyendu Adhikari are Lok Sabha MPs elected on Trinamool tickets.

Suvendu is maintaining a stoic silence over the reason for his absence, but speculation is rife that he might switchover to the BJP. This is at a time when CBI has registered an FIR against 12 Trinamool leaders, including Suvendu, in the Naradanews bribe case.

At the meeting at Netaji Indoor Stadium in the city, on her re-election as the party’s chairperson, Mamata Banerjee told her party colleagues that they need not get scared by the CBI investigation in the Saradha and Rose Valley chit-fund scam and the Naradanews Sting.

“None of you need to get scared by the Saradha-Narada probe: we will see what CBI can do,” she said adding that Trinamool was being targeted because it spoke for the common people.

“How many leaders will you (BJP-led Central government) put in jails? I dare you to arrest all our MPs, Ministers, and MLAs,” Mamta said urging leaders and workers to fight the propaganda being run against the party.

Saying that BJP was trying to divide people on religious lines, she told party workers that the next two years would be a challenge to the party. “We have to fight against the malicious propaganda and conspiracies. They are bringing in cadres from other states to incite trouble in Bengal. You have to be very careful; report to party leaders if you spot an outsider roaming about your area.”