Prez poll row takes toll

Sensing trouble in Kolkata after the way it ditched Mamata Banerjee on the presidential election issue, the Samajwadi Party has cancelled its two-day national convention that was scheduled to be held in the city on 10 and 11 July. The sources in the party say that they are on a lookout for a new city where the national convention can be held.

Apart from changing the venue, the party has also postponed the dates of convention.'The national convention as of now has been postponed and it will be held after the presidential elections are over,' said the Samajwadi Party spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary. While Chaudhary said that no decision on the venue had been taken, sources have indicated that New Delhi is one option that the party is mulling over as a probable venue for the convention.

The decision to change the venue was taken because of the fallout between the Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and Banerjee. The West Bengal chief minister and the Samajwadi Party chief had jointly announced three names for the presidential candidate and had opposed the candidature of Pranab Mukherjee. However, Yadav made a U-turn within days and extended support to Mukherjee.

Kolkata has been a lucky city for the Samajwadi Party. In 2010, the party held a national convention in the city when its fortunes were sagging. Two years later it came back to power in Uttar Pradesh. The same was the case in 1993, when the party held a meeting in Kolkata and within two months it came to power in its home state.
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