I have no problem getting along with Priya : Somen

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Kolkata, Feb 14 (UNI) Welcoming the appointment of Union Minister Priyaranjan Dasmunshi as Pradesh Congress president of West Bengal, former PCC chief Somen Mitra today said he did not have any problem in getting along with the new incumbent.

" This was expected. We do not have any problem in working together with him if we are given the due respect, " he told reporters.

Mr Mitra, considered to be a formidable rival of Mr Dasmunshi in intra-party politics, was an aspirant for the top PCC post which lay vacant for about one-and-a-half years after resignation of Mr Pranab Mukherjee following the party's debacle in the last Assembly election.

The AICC, however, did not accept the resignation and Mr Pradip Bhattacharjee ran the party in the state as the working president.

Known to be an astute organiser, Mr Mitra had lost many of his proteges, including party MP Adhir Chowdhury, who switched over loyalty to Mr Dasmunshi in recent times.

Describing Mr Dasmunshi as a suitable person as PCC chief, Mr Mitra hoped the new paradigm would earn the party a good result in the coming Panchayat election.

Yesterday, the faction-ridden PCC hailed Mr Dasmunshi's appointment, 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 Dasmunshi as well as those of Mr Somen Mitra said the appointment would encourage the rank and file and consolidate the unity before the Panchayat polls.

Congress Legislature Party leader Manas Bhunia, close to Mr 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 Ms Banerjee to declare whether she would maintain alliance with the NDA.

Describing Mr Dasmunshi 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.

UNI KDG SJC DB1939

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