One of the star MPs of the Trinamool Congress’, the man who defeated the CPI (M) in its stronghold this year, has started feeling “suffocated”.
Singer-politician Kabir Suman, 50, on Sunday evening said the Trinamool wasn’t any different from the CPI (M).
“I have become a slave of the party. I feel suffocated,” he said on the sidelines of a programme at the Kolkata Press Club. “I am not being able to work for development.”
Suman was referring to the lack of developmental work in South 24 Parganas district.
“In South 24 Parganas, at least, there has been no progress at all since my party came to power. How long can this continue?” asked Suman.
At a press conference on Monday, Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee, 54, tried to play down Suman’s comments.
“He is not a career politician but an artiste. He is entitled to his views,” she said. “I, too, have disagreements over how panchayats work. Trinamool Congress is not angry with his remarks.”
As an artiste is wont to, Suman didn’t mince words when criticising the rot in governance.
“The Centre is not stingy. It gives us money for projects —Rs 1.44 lakh per tube-well. Nobody knows where that money is going. There is so much greed,” he said.
Suman, who had worked as a journalist, including assignments in Germany and Nicaragua, shot to fame in 1991 with his album Tomake Chai (I need you). The album launched a genre of Bengali protest folk songs.
In the 2009 Lok Sabha polls he defeated CPI(M)’s Sujan Chakraborty in Jadavpur by 54,000 votes.
Known for his disapproval of authority, Suman gravitated towards the Trinamool Congress when he lent his voice to protest the Bengal government’s Nandigram strategy in March 2007 by releasing two albums, Nandigram and Pratirodh, on the subject.
The Trinamool Congress swept the panchayat elections in May 2008 and has been in charge of the zilla parishad in south 24 parganas since then.
Though CPI(M) leaders had cast aspersions on Suman’s character during the Lok Sabha campaign, they welcomed the comments he made on Sunday.
“It is not possible for anybody with character to be with the Trinamool,” remarked Shyamal Chakravarti, president of CITU in Bengal.