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As BJP Warns Dist Units Against TMC Tainted Leaders, Mukul Roy Says Didi Key Accused in 'Cut Money' Scam

Fresh protests over the ‘cut money’ issue were reported from different parts of the state as villagers gathered in front of Trinamool leaders' houses demanding their money back.

Sujit Nath | News18.com

Updated:June 26, 2019, 7:34 PM IST
As BJP Warns Dist Units Against TMC Tainted Leaders, Mukul Roy Says Didi Key Accused in 'Cut Money' Scam
File photo of West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee.

Kolkata: In the midst of ‘cut money’ (graft) protests across West Bengal, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has alerted its district units to refrain from letting in tainted Trinamool Congress leaders. In fact, the party leadership wants to make sure that those who have already managed to get into the saffron brigade should be removed soon, if found guilty.

BJP leader Mukul Roy, who recently roped in hundreds of TMC functionaries, including MPs and MLAs, in the saffron camp, said, “We are aware of the situation. There are TMC leaders who are accused of taking ‘cut money’ and are joining the BJP or planning to join us at the district level. We have initiated a screening process and we’ll not allow such corrupt individuals into the party. The screening cell is actively working to keep such people away.”

He said, “There are several councilors, gram panchayat pradhans and local TMC leaders who went underground to avoid the wrath of public who are demanding their money back. I would like to say that party chief Mamata Banerjee is the prime accused in the case. If you remember, she had once reprimanded a section of Trinamool Congress’ trade union leaders for not depositing donations or ‘chanda’ in party funds. She only told the party leaders that in case of Rs 2 as collection or Rs 1 as ‘chanda’ (donation), 75% of the amount should be deposited in the party. She said this on June 22, 2018.”

Recently, former Trinamool leader Monirul Islam, who joined the BJP, offered to resign after several party leaders expressed objection to his induction. A section of them felt that people like him would bring a bad name to the party.

Meanwhile, fresh protests over the ‘cut money’ issue were reported from Berhampore in Murshidabad and Chatra in Birbhum district where people gathered in front of gram panchayat Pradhan Shyamal Tudu and TMC’s booth president Trilochan Mukherjee’s house, respectively.

Mukherjee has already returned Rs 1,641 each to 141 villagers who sought jobs under the MGNREGA scheme, but on Wednesday, faced fresh ire after more people came forward with allegations of bribe against him.

In Murshidabad’s Ranibagan area, a large number of victims gathered in front of Tudu’s house with ‘dhamsa madol’ (tribal drums) and raised slogans against him for allegedly accepting Rs 10,000 from about 35 villagers. The Hatinagar panchayat pradhan has fled from the scene.

“Tudu is not the only person to have run away. There are many local TMC leaders in our locality who are missing fearing arrests or investigations following the chief minister’s warning,” said Shankar Tudu, one of the victims.

Ratan Kumar Dutta, BJP’s Ghatal unit president in West Midnapore, said, “There is anger all over Bengal among villagers because they are seeing that their representatives are becoming rich overnight, while they continue to beg for government schemes (that are actually meant for them). You will find senior TMC leaders in the districts living in swanky houses and travelling in air-conditioned cars. From where are they getting this money? In Kharagpur, TMC leader Saheb De is staying somewhere else. He is not returning to his posh house to avoid public wrath. Two TMC leaders in Keshpur have also gone underground because villagers are desperately looking for them to get back their money.”

Several ruling party leaders, including Asiya Khatoon at Buniadpur in South Dinajpore, Sunil Malakar, ward councillor (Chinsura in Hooghly) and Sachin Burman of Tufangunj in Cooch Behar, have been accused of swindling public money through housing, sanitation and MGNREGA schemes. Locals have staged protests in front of their houses, but all of them is are said to be missing.

| Edited by: Sohini Goswami
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