Bengal: Good people can’t work in TMC, says Hooghly district MLA; quits posts
Making things worse for the Trinamool Congress (TMC) in Bengal’s Hooghly district where the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) made deep inroads in 2019 and wrested a Lok Sabha seat, Prabir Ghosal, the ruling party MLA from Uttarpara on Tuesday spoke out against the leadership and quit the posts of district core committee member and spokesperson.
“Party leaders who are eager to work for the people are always stopped by a coterie in the TMC. I have been raising several issues related to development since the Lok Sabha polls but nothing has been done. A road in my constituency, for example, is lying incomplete for a long time. I am quitting the district core committee and the post of district spokesperson,” Ghosal said at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon.
Asked whether he would join the BJP, Ghosal said, “I have no such plans yet.”
Ghosal immediately drew the ire of the TMC after he said at the press conference that Suvendu Adhikari, who joined the BJP in December, was only second to Mamata Banerjee as an organiser. He also described former forest minister Rajib Banerjee, who quit the cabinet last week, as “an honest person who did a lot of good work”.
The TMC leadership cautioned Ghosal and issued a show-cause notice. “I am hearing it from journalists. I have not received any letter or message till now,” Ghosal said around 2pm.
Kalyan Banerjee, TMC Lok Sabha MP from Serampore in Hooghly district, said, “Ghosal is a two-headed snake. Those who want to work for the masses find work in all circumstances. He stays home all the time.”
Ghosal is a veteran journalist and is known to be close to chief minister Mamata Banerjee. He left his profession and joined politics on the eve of the 2016 assembly elections just like former Indian cricketer Laxmi Ratan Shukla, who left the TMC on January 5, saying he wants to return to sports. Shukla was the minister of state for sports and youth affairs and was elected from Howrah district, where he lives. Ghosal, on the other hand, was nominated from Uttarpara where his family is well known.
Ghosal said he recently witnessed dirty politics to stop him from being invited to the inauguration of the administrative building of a local college where Kalyan Banerjee was the chief guest. “I formed the governing body of this college. In protest, I did not attend a rally of the chief minister on Monday,” said Ghosal.
At Monday’s rally, Banerjee said leaders who are aware that they will not be fielded in the coming elections are flocking to the BJP. “Please leave the TMC as fast as you can. This party belongs to sincere workers,” Banerjee said on Monday, sending a message to dissidents like Adhikari who quit the assembly and the Cabinet and joined the BJP on December 19 along with six sitting MLAs and a Lok Sabha member.
Asked whether he has been told that he would not be nominated for the polls due in April-May, Ghosal said, “The day Shukla left the party, the chief minister had called me up. When I told her about the problems I am facing, she said I can contest from another seat if I want to.”
Another MLA from Howrah, Vaishali Dalmiya, daughter of former BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmya who entered politics in 2016 and subsequently won the Bally seat in Howrah district, was expelled by TMC last week for speaking against the party. She, too, alleged that legislators with good intentions are never allowed to work.
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