Berhampore: Ahead of the coming panchayat elections, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday embarked on a tour along with ministers and IAS officers to Congress dominated districts, triggering criticism from its ally and the CPI(M).
    
The five districts are Nadia, Malda, Murshidabad and North and South Dinajpur districts — a region that sent six Congress MPs to the Lok Sabha.
    
While Banerjee held meetings with officials of the districts in Nadia and Murshidabad on Wednesday, her rally at Berhampore in Muslim-dominated Murshidabad district was marred by a chaotic situation after the failure of the public address system in the midst of her speech.
    
People who thronged the venue in thousands broke the barricade and hurled chairs to come close to the dias to hear Banerjee. Asking the crowd to remain calm, Banerjee stopped her speech as the public address system continued to remain non-functioning due to snapping of some wires.
    
Her first visit to the district after becoming chief minister is seen in Congress circles as an attempt to wean way voters from the Congress ahead of the panchayat polls slated for early next year.

Many state Congress leaders, specially those from Murshidabad district, are unhappy with chief minister's visit to the district on Wednesday.
    
No Congress MLA was invited at her meeting with officials or at her rally and "It was not proper in democratic tradition", CLP leader Mohammed Shorab told.
    
The chief minister laid foundation stones for many new roads in the district and distributed Kisan Credit Cards.
    
She said two lakh such cards would be distributed during her five-district tour. She announced that Rs 700 crore has been allocated for 121 drinking water projects in Murshidabad of which foundation stones of 17 were laid on Wednesday.

(Agencies)

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