Life may not be a bed of roses but a CPI-M leader in Marxist-ruled Tripura went one step ahead - he got himself a bed of cash.
However, Leftist leader Samar Acharjee, a contractor by profession, has landed in trouble after local television channels aired footage of him lying on bundles of cash in a bed, with his ruling party taking strong exception to the brash act.
The irony of it is that Tripura’s chief minister Manik Sarkar is known to be one of the most honest political leaders in the country who donates his monthly salary to the party and gets Rs. 5,000 from the CPM as an allowance. Sarkar is also one of the longest-serving chief ministers in the country having ruled the state continuously since 1998.
What has angered the party is Acharjee’s comments directed at other party members. “I am not a hypocrite like other party members who depict themselves as proletariat, yet have huge amounts of money,” he was heard saying in the video.
42-year-old Acharjee shot the video himself earlier this week but was later leaked to television channels.
Acharjee had withdrawn the cash from his own bank account to fulfil a long cherished dream. “I have withdrawn Rs. 20 lakhs from my bank account and fulfilled my long cherished dream of sleeping on a bed of money,” he said.
Acharjee, a member of CPM’s Jogendranagar committee, also narrated how he earned Rs. 2.5 crore over the years by constructing 2400 low-cost sanitary toilets in three Agartala Municipal Council wards.
Taking strong exception to the act, CPI-M state secretary Bijan Dhar said, “preliminary investigation by the party shows that Acharjee himself took the footage on his own mobile phone which was leaked to a television channel by his friend.”
Dhar added that the Agartala sadar divisional committee of the party has completed investigation and the matter would be discussed at a meeting which would suggest action against Acharjee.
“We do not support this kind of immoral work. It seems the highest possible penal measures will be initiated against him,” Dhar added.
Seizing on the opportunity, a senior member of the opposition Congress Ratan Lal Nath demanded an inquiry into the movable and immovable assets of Marxist leaders and ministers.
“This incident shows that the party is corrupt and its leaders made a huge amount of money by misusing public funds,” he said.
There have been several incidents in the country of political leaders caught with ill-gotten money but Acharjee is perhaps the first to be caught in such a compromising position and that too on his own bed.