Congress leaders hail Dasmunsi's appointment

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Kolkata, Feb 13 (UNI) The faction-ridden West Bengal Pradesh Congress today welcomed the appointment of Union Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi as PCC chief, though keeping its fingers crossed over the possibility of roping in Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee for the proposed anti-Left Front.

Expressing happiness over the AICC decision, supporters of Mr Dasmunsi as well as those of his rival Mr Somen Mitra, the former PCC President, said the appointment would encourage the rank and file and consolidate the unity before the panchayat polls.

''The PCC needed somebody to guide it and implement the party's policy decisions. I am confident that Mr Dasmunsi will try his level best to settle whatever disputes exist within the party,'' Pradesh Congress Committee working president Pradeep Bhattacharjee told UNI.

Conress Legislature Party Leader Manas Bhunia, who is close to Mr Somen Mitra, observed that under Mr Dasmunshi's leadership, the Congress would be able to give a stiff fight to the CPI(M)-led Left Front and the prospect of formation of a non-Left secular democratic front would be brighter.

However, stating that the Congress would stick to its secular stand, Mr Bhunia called upon Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee to declare whether she would maintain alliance with the NDA.

Describing Mr Dasmunsi as the 'fittest' person to lead the state unit, his close aid Subrata Mukherjee said the challenge before the new incumbent was to forge unity in the party.

'' He is the only person capable of taking along all the factions.

His leadership will enliven the party,'' he said.

Mr Mukherjee, however, refused to comment on whether the proposed secular democratic front, including the Trinamool Congress, would be able to materialise with the initiative of the new Congress leadership.

Party MP Adhir Chowdhury observed that with Mr Dasmunsi coming to the helm of state party affairs, many Trinamool Congress workers would come under the Congress fold.

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