Bhangar, Feb. 11: A Mamata Banerjee meeting in Bhangar today gave supporters of Arabul Islam a chance to shout slogans in favour their leader and seek the chief minister's intervention for his immediate release from jail.
"Arabul ke chai (we want Arabul), Arabul ke chharte hobe (Arabul has to be released)," shouted the supporters as the chief minister got off the dais after laying the foundation for a medical college for the minorities and a multi-speciality hospital.
Arabul ' accused in cases of assault on CPM veteran Abdur Rezzak Mollah and CPM supporters thereafter ' was arrested on January 17 on the charges of attempt to murder and possession of illegal arms, among others.
On February 7, Arabul was shifted to SSKM from Alipore jail after he complained of chest pain.
Although Mamata did not react to the slogans today, sources in Trinamul said there were hardly any reason for the chief minister to be happy with the show of strength by the Arabul camp.
"Knowing the person she is, Mamata will never like party supporters shouting slogans for another leader, and that too, for someone lodged in jail," the source said.
"But she knows that Trinamul needs him for the rural polls," added the Trinamul insider.
In her 45-minute speech, Mamata did not mention Arabul even once, which is said to have upset his supporters.
While Trinamul leaders in Bhangar have rallied behind Arabul, senior leaders in the party seem to be trying to maintain a distance from him.
Today, Arabul's name on some of the giant posters in Bhangar was seen smeared with paint.
Abdur Rezzak Mollah will on Thursday address a rally at Ghatakpur.
The CPM leader said the meet, his first since his release from hospital after the assault, would mark his "return to active politics".