The Left Front in West Bengal has taken strong exception to a news item on the front page of Wednesday's edition of a Bengali daily that gives a list of probable Ministers in a Trinamool Congress-led Ministry being considered by a “confident” Mamata Banerjee with herself as Chief Minister. The Front has drawn the attention of the Chief Election Commissioner to the report, which it describes as “completely planted.”

In a letter to the Chief Election Commissioner, Biman Bose, chairman of the Left Front Committee, said: “This news is motivated and completely unusual before the completion of the elections.”

“All of us know that four phases of elections are over and two phases [are] due on May 7 and 10… This news has been written in a planned manner to influence the voters of the next two phases of election,” he stated.

Pointing out that the attention of the Chief Election Commissioner had earlier been drawn to the fact that “a section of [the] media is playing an extremely partisan role in our State,” Mr. Bose said the question of “paid news” had also been referred to.

“Mamata using U.S. copters”

Addressing an election rally at Patrasayar in Bankura district, Mr. Bose alleged that the helicopters being used by Ms. Banerjee in her election campaign were of United States registration. He said “national and international reactionary forces” were at work to oust the Left Front from power in the State and “destroy the unity of the poor”

“An American company has manufactured the helicopters… An Indian company, which has given Rs.120 crore to the Trinamool Congress, had brought them from America and given it to [the party] to use,” Mr. Bose alleged.

Funding questioned

He questioned the funding of the election campaign of the Trinamool. “Where is the money coming from to use helicopters?”