Kunal Ghosh has always had more enemies in the Trinamool Congress leadership than friends.
But it is, perhaps, his tussle with the Boses - Swapan Sadhan Bose and Srinjoy Bose - that paved the way for his downfall, a Trinamool Congress insider told HT.
“It was due to his tussle with the Boses that Ghosh tried in various ways to harm the business interests of the Boses, who are among the key fundraisers for the Trinamool Congress. The top leadership of the party did not take it lightly,” a Trinamool leader said. “When the party decided to tackle him in a tough way, he indulged in further anti-party activities, started tarnishing images of other leaders and infuriated the party leadership,” the source added.
While Swapan Sadhan Bose is a former Rajya Sabha MP of the Trinamool Congress, his son, Srinjoy, is a Rajya Sabha MP of the party at present.
The latter is also the editor of Trinamool Congress’ mouthpiece, Jago Bangla. The Boses own a Bengali daily newspaper and a cargohandling firm that operates in Haldia Dock Complex.
Ghosh, himself, had spoken of three incidents that put him in trouble: his criticism of the government role in the incident of Trinamool Congress student’s wing leaders heckling the principal of Raigunj College, his opposition to the decision of withdrawing support from the Centre and an incident in January 2013 that he did not elaborate.
Party sources said an incident in January marked the beginning of Ghosh’s tussle with the Boses.
Ghosh was still serving as a journalist at the newspaper owned by the Boses while simultaneously acting as the CEO of Saradha Group’s media units. Following the tussle, he left their newspaper and joined Saradha’s media units as a full-timer.
“After the fall of the Saradha empire in April, Ghosh upped his ante against the Boses,” the source said. In the middle of April, Ghosh handed over to CPI(M) Rajya Sabha MP Sitaram Yechuri documents showing how the Haldia Dock Complex was making losses due to a system that particularly helped the Boses’ firm make profits.
Yechuri is the chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture. Ghosh, a member of the committee, even raised the issue during a meeting of the committee in the third week of April, in the presence of Sisir Adhikary, a Lok Sabha MP and senior Trinamool leader.
“I opposed Ghosh’s allegations in the meeting and immediately brought the issue to the notice of the party leadership,” Adhikary told HT. Based on Ghosh’s submission, BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha took up the issue and demanded action.
Rajya Sabha secretariat sought an explanation from the shipping ministry over the system and also wanted an end to the system. “This irked Rajya Sabha MP and party general secretary Mukul Roy, who took up the issue with Mamata Banerjee.
Even after that, Ghosh continued activities to harm the Boses,” the source said. “I have no idea what his problem with me was. I personally never had any problem with Ghosh,” was Srinjoy’s cryptic reply to HT.