Chidambaram faces heat from Congress-affiliated lawyers at Calcutta HC

Kolkata, May 4 (IANS) Senior Congress leader and former Union Finance Minister, P. Chidambaram, who is a leading lawyer too, on Wednesday faced the ire of a group of Congress-affiliated lawyers within the Calcutta High Court premises, as he appeared to argue a case on behalf of the state's Trinamool Congress government against his party.
 
Chidambaram faces heat from Congress-affiliated lawyers at Calcutta HC

Kolkata, May 4 (IANS) Senior Congress leader and former Union Finance Minister, P. Chidambaram, who is a leading lawyer too, on Wednesday faced the ire of a group of Congress-affiliated lawyers within the Calcutta High Court premises, as he appeared to argue a case on behalf of the state's Trinamool Congress government against his party.

He came to appear against a petition filed by the state Congress President and party leader in Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, challenging the West Bengal government's dilution of its 47 per cent share in Metro Dairy to private entity Keventer Agro Ltd.

While Chidambaram was coming out of the high court, a group of Congress- affiliated lawyers, led by Congress leader and advocate, Koustav Bagchi, surrounded him and started shouting "Go Back" slogans. Some of them were even heard addressing the senior Congress leader as a "pimp of West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee". Chidambaram, however, did not react and maintained his calm throughout.

His bodyguards somehow escorted him to his vehicle and he departed silently.

Later, Bagchi said that this is an insult to Chowdhury since he himself had filed the petition against the disinvestment of state government stake in Metro Diary. "Thousands of ordinary Congress workers are homeless because of atrocities by ruling Trinamool Congress goons. In such a situation a senior leader like Chidambaram is appearing on behalf of the state government. I have talked to our state President and clearly told him that next time such leaders come to West Bengal, he would be welcomed by a garland of shoes," Bagchi said.

Contacted for comment, senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member, Pradip Bhattacharya told IANS that he finds no justification behind Chidambaram taking up the brief for the state government. "I understand that this is their profession. But when you represent a particular political party, it is not fair to take up the brief on behalf of any other rival party or any government ruled by a rival party," he said.

Chowdhury challenged the petition on grounds that a short while after the state government sold its entire share to Keventer Agro Ltd, the latter transferred 15 per cent of its share to a Singapore-based firm at a much higher price.

--IANS

src/vd