One of Trinamool Congress star MPs, singer Kabir Suman, the man who defeated the CPI(M) in one of its strongholds in Jadavpur constituency has already started feeling “suffocated”.
“I can’t function independently as an MP. I have become a slave of the party. Frankly, I feel suffocated,” remarked the 50-year old singer-politician on the sidelines of a programme at the Kolkata Press Club on Sunday evening.
“I’ll be happy to lose my membership from Parliament. I am not being able to work for development,” rued Suman.
He was particularly referring to lack of development work in south 24 parganas district, a huge district that kisses the southern fringes of Kolkata and encompasses the Sunderbans.
“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.
“The Trinamool is no different from the CPI(M). Just because I won for the Trinamool doesn’t mean I have surrendered my tongue on a silver platter,” Suman fumed.
Suman, who has earlier worked as a journalist in various countries including Germany and Nicaragua, shot into fame in 1991 when his album Tomake Chai (I need you). The album is often credited with the birth of a new genre of Bengali protest folk songs.
In the 2009 Lok Sabha polls Suman defeated the CPI(M) incumbent in Jadavpur by a margin of 54,000 votes. The Assembly seat of Jadavpur is held by Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.
Known for his irreverence for authority, Suman veered towards the Trinamool Congress when he lent his voice to protest the Bengal government’s Nandigram strategy in March 2007.
“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.
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.
“Those who were in the Panchayat for years didn’t do anything. Even those who came to power later didn’t do anything. The people must ask why,” Suman commented.
He found many evidences of corruption during a visit to the district a couple of days ago, alleged the MP.
Though CPI(M) leaders had cast aspersions on Suman’s character during the Lok Sabha campaign, they welcomed his comments on Sunday.
“It is not possible for anybody with character to be with the Trinamool,” remarked Shyamal Chakravarti, president of Citu in Bengal.
Congress leader and known Mamata Banerjee critic Nirbed Roy also spoke in favour of Suman.
“None with a spine can absorb the control in Trinamool for too long. Suman is more sensitive than many others, so he is the first to speak out. Others must also be feeling the same,” he said.