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In U-turn, Cong not to field candidate against Mamata


New Delhi: A day after promising to field its candidate against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in the Bhabanipur bypoll, the Congress on Tuesday took a U-turn over its stand and said the party will not pit anybody against the Trinamool Congress supremo.

As instructed by the All India Congress Committee, the Congress will neither field any candidate opposite Banerjee nor campaign against her in the run up to the September 30 bypoll, state Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury told reporters in Baharampur.

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On Monday, Chowdhury had told reporters that the Congress would field a candidate against Banerjee in Bhabanipur, claiming that the majority of PCC members were in favour of such a decision.

Two months ago, Chowdhury had advocated not fielding any candidate against the chief minister out of political courtesy.

Reacting to the AICC decision, Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Sujan Chakraborty said, "We will field a candidate as those opposed to the TMC and BJP needed an alternative. We cannot ask the Congress to change its decision."