Factionalism in Forward Bloc over new-look of party flag

by IANS |

Kolkata, June 21 (IANS) Factionalism in All India Forward Bloc, founded by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and constituent of the Left Front in West Bengal, took a nasty turn over the leadership's decision to give the party flag a new look.

In the new look, while the picture of "leaping tiger" was retained, the picture of "hammer & sickle" was dropped.

The differences in opinion have reached such a state that the party leadership has even suspended five state committee members, including former party MLA and state secretariat member Ali Imran Ramz aka Victor.

The original flag of the party, which was designed by none other than Netaji, had the picture of the leaping tiger with the background of the national Tricolour. However, as a reflection of the communist ideology later the design of the flag was changed as the background colour was changed to red from Tricolour and "hammer & sickle" was added in 1948.

According to the All India Forward Bloc's general secretary, Naren Chattopadhyay, the new flag will have the red background but the "hammer & sickle" will be dropped. "This decision is being taken to return to our roots to shift from the concept of communist to Netaji's path of socialism," he said.

However, Ali Imran Ram, a two-time former Forward Bloc MLA from Chakulia Assembly constituency in North Dinajpur district of West Bengal alleged that the decision to change the look of the party flag at the central council meeting was taken without consulting all concerned.

"We had been carrying our mass movements with this flag with a leaping tiger and hammer & sickle. Does the present leadership of the party feel that our legendary leaders like Late Ashoke Ghosh and ALate Chitta Basu were wrong in carrying this flag?" Ramz questioned.

Ramz has also announced that he will form a new political outfit "Azad Hind Fauj", along with around 5,000 of his followers from different districts in North Bengal and will move ahead with the old flag with both leaping tiger and hammer & sickle. Soon after he announced this decision, Naren Chattopadhyay issued the suspension order of Ramz and four other state committee members.

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