Monday, February 28, 2011

Sent legal notice, CPM mouthpiece apologises to Didi

Feb 28, 2011, KOLKATA:

Barely a few days before the dates for the 2011 Assembly polls are announced, CPM mouthpiece Ganashakti has been forced to express \"sincere regret\" for a scathing attack it had launched on Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on the basis of a photograph published in its edition dated December 27, 2010.

The piece, titled \"Back seat drive\" on page 4 of Ganashakti, had a picture showing Mamata riding pillion on a two-wheeler. The CPM daily claimed Chhatradhar Mahato was driving the bike in Lalgarh. The picture was apparently sourced from another newspaper.

Chhatradhar, former spokesperson for the People\'s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCPA) has been under arrest since September 2009. The PCPA is considered by the government as a frontal organisation of the Maoists, and Ganashakti said in its piece that Mamata was going to the \"liberated zone\" to provide them oxygen.

Trinamool Congress MP and well-known lawyer Kalyan Banerjee said on Sunday that the picture was actually taken on November 13, 2010 when Mamata was on her way to a meeting at Rajarhat. She had to ride pillion on the two-wheeler of party worker Tarak Chakraborty after her convoy got stuck. Banerjee said Ganashakti was sent a legal notice for the piece. Subsequently, the advocate for the daily, Anindya Sunder Das, informed the Trinamool Congress leadership that the news item was inadvertently published based on some incorrect information. \"They also assured that this would not happen in future,\" Banerjee said.

When the piece appeared in Ganashakti on December 27, the Trinamool leadership was extremely upset and Tarak Chakraborty sent a legal letter to the daily. Chakraborty\'s advocate Chaitali Bhattacharyya said in the letter that \"the article published was derogatory for client and party supremo Mamata Banerjee\".

Advocate Anindya Sundar Das, on behalf of Narayan Dutta, the editor of Ganashakti, wrote back to Bhattacharyya saying that the article was written \"on the basis of some incorrect information\" and Ganashakti was expressing \"sincere regret in this regard\".
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