Mamata not to share dais with Sonia, MMS in Malda

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Kolkata, March 14: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has decided not to share the stage with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Malda in West Bengal on March 16.

State Congress officials also suspect that the chief minister might announce the schedule for the panchayat polls a day ahead of the Congress leaders' trip, so that the model code of conduct gets implemented and prevent Gandhi and PM from making any poll promises.

The ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC), however, refused to comment on this.

Singh and Gandhi will visit Malda to inaugurate the Ghani Khan Chowdhury Institute of Engineering & Technology at Narayanpur. Abu Naser Khan Chowdhury, a sitting Congress MLA and brother of late Ghani Khan, a noted Congress leader from this part, had invited the chief minister to be present at the Malda ceremony but the latter reportedly turned down the request.

Banerjee has also asked two of her ministers from Malda, Sabitri Mitra and Krishnendu Narayan Chowdhury, to stay away from the programme. Mitra, however, said that the CM would not take part in the function for the two ministers from the district were not invited by the organisers.

The engineering college, which was set up about three years ago, has no building of its own and was functioning from a rented house. The authorities later constructed a new building at Narayanpur on a 300-bigha land.

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