Trinamool leadership now begins distancing from Anubrata Mondal
Kolkata, Jan 22 (IANS) Not as blatantly as done in the case of former West Bengal education minister and Trinamool Congress secretary general Partha Chatterjee, but signals are becoming evident of the party leadership silently distancing itself from the Birbhum district president Anubrata Mondal.
Mondal is currently in judicial custody for his alleged connection with the multi- crore cattle scam in West Bengal.
Clear instructions have come on the party's district leadership not to display any picture of Mondal at the party and administrative programmes to be attended by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in the district by the month end. According to party sources, a clear instruction on this count was given at the party's district committee meeting on Saturday evening.
"There are two reasons for taking this decision. The first reason is that displaying pictures of the district president might lead to some legal hassles which might be made an issue by the opposition parties. Secondly, since it is not clear when Mondal will be back again with his political activities, the leadership wants the Birbhum leadership to perform independently in absence of Mondal," said a member of the party's core committee who refused to be named.
He admitted that this instruction has come as a surprise to many members of the party's Birbhum district committee.
Trinamool Congress stripped Partha Chatterjee of all his ministerial and party portfolios just after he was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) sleuths in July last year for his alleged involvement in the multi- crore teachers' recruitment scam in the state. However, after Mondal's arrest by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in August last year in connection to the multi- crore cattle smuggling scam, the party leadership including the chief minister stood by him.
Even after being imprisoned, Mondal continued as the party's Birbhum district president. The state municipal affairs & urban development minister and the mayor of Kolkata Firhad Hakim even went to the extent of describing Mondal as the tiger of Birbhum.
However, the CBI used that statement of Hakim in the court in establishing the influential- theory against Mondal. Political observers too feel that the decision of not displaying Mondal's picture in the chief minister's meeting is an indication that though slowly the process of the party's distancing from the erstwhile strongman has started.