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Trinamool in Damage-control Mode as Public Anger Erupts over 'Tainted' Leaders

By: Salmali Das

CNN-News18

Last Updated: August 09, 2022, 20:49 IST

Kolkata, India

Anubrata Mondal had earlier been questioned twice by the CBI as part of its investigation. (Image: Anubrata Mondal/Twitter)

Anubrata Mondal had earlier been questioned twice by the CBI as part of its investigation. (Image: Anubrata Mondal/Twitter)

On Monday, the public's fury poured out on Birbhum Trinamool Congress president Anubrata Mondal, who had been summoned by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in a cattle smuggling case

Eighteen days after the arrest of former West Bengal education minister Partha Chatterjee in a teacher recruitment scam, the rage over the issue among the common people is still bubbling. The state’s ruling Trinamool Congress though appears to be distancing itself from the matter and on July 29 it announced Chatterjee’s removal from all his ministries and suspension from the party.

However, on Monday, the public’s fury poured out on Birbhum Trinamool Congress president Anubrata Mondal, who had been summoned by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in a cattle smuggling case. Mondal wrote to the CBI, expressing his inability to come because of a health issue. A seven-member medical team was then set up at the SSKM hospital to conduct a checkup. But when he was entering the institute, an angry mob greeted him with chants of “chor, chor”. The medical board reported that there was no need for hospitalisation, and Mondal was again summoned by the CBI on Wednesday.

On the other hand, after being arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), the responsibility of the council office held by Partha Chatterjee was transferred to Sovandeb Chatterjee. Though Trinamool Congress as a party maintained silence on the matter, veteran leader Sovandeb opened up about Partha. “I brought Partha to the assembly. Now he is in jail. I will be happy if he proves himself innocent,” he said.

The so-called SSC scam has put the TMC government in a tight spot, and to control the damage, party MP Abhishek Banerjee met people affected by the episode and promised them jobs. A group of protesters on Monday came to Bikash Bhavan (education ministry office) and joined a meeting called by education minister Bratya Basu.

After the meeting, Shahidullah, a representative of the job seekers, said it had a positive impact. In response to a question about what was discussed, he said, “We have given the demand that all those on the merit list should get jobs but we will continue the peaceful movement. The movement will be called off if everyone gets the appointment letters. The education minister has assured us in this regard.”

Trinamool spokesperson Kunal Ghosh had been vocal not only about Partha Chatterjee’s arrest but also speculation over the former minister’s equations with aide and actress Arpita Mukherjee, recovery of crores of rupees, and valuables by the ED. But Trinamool has now ordered him to keep mum.

According to sources, Ghosh has been censured by party chief Mamata Banerjee on the Partha Chatterjee matter. “I believe in Borolin; the ups and downs of life don’t affect me. I am a loyal soldier of the party, I am bound to listen to what the party has to say. However, it is not clear to me why I am forbidden to give my opinion,” Ghosh said.

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first published:August 09, 2022, 20:49 IST
last updated:August 09, 2022, 20:49 IST