Arrested Sudip Bandopadhyay is Mamata confidant, Trinamool face in Delhi
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Arrested Sudip Bandopadhyay is Mamata confidant, Trinamool face in Delhi

Sudip Bandopadhyay’s importance, more than anything else, lies in the fact that he has the ears of the party leaders and belongs to CM’s core team.

india Updated: Jan 04, 2017 07:41 IST
Sudip Bandopadhyay,Rose Valley scam,Mamata Banerjee
TMC MP Sudip Bandopadhyay being taken by CBI officers to Bhubaneswar for further inquiry who was arrested in connection with Rose Valley chit fund scam in Kolkata on Tuesday evening .(PTI)

Sudip Bandyopadhyay, so far the senior most Trinamool Congress leader arrested by CBI in the Rose Valley scam, is not only the face of the party in Lok Sabha but also one of the close confidants of chief minister Mamata Banerjee.

His importance, more than anything else lies in the fact that he has the ears of the party leaders and belongs to her core team.

A single comment is perhaps sufficient to prove his value in the party. “I just cannot imagine that Sudipda has been arrested. He is a senior leader of the party in the Parliament,” the CM said and then went on to emphasise that the entire party is with Bandyopadhyay and his family.

The 64-year-old MP leads the party in the Lok Sabha while Derek O Brien leads it in the Rajya Sabha. However, in age and experience, Bandyopadhyay is far ahead of O Brien in the party. He is also crucial in executing the party chief’s command.

He was the key man when Trinamool Congress undertook a series of agitations in the capital against corruption and demonetisation. A veteran politician from central Kolkata, he was elected from Kolkata North constituency. Bandyopadhyay was with Trinamool since its formation in 1998.

When Mukul Roy, once the Man Friday of Mamata Banerjee and the number two in the party fell from grace, Bandyopadhyay became her most dependable man in Delhi along with Derek O Brien.

His importance can also be gauged from the fact that Trinamool supporters started agitation in a few areas and attacked the BJP headquarters in Kolkata, while there was little reaction when Tapas Paul, also an MP, was arrested on December 30.

Read | Mamata cries political vendetta after TMC MP’s arrest, mob targets BJP office

Bandyopadhyay and his wife, cine star-turned-politician Naina, are close to Mamata Banerjee. In 2004, Bandyopadhyay contested Kolkata North-West Lok Sabha constituency as an independent, which was the only occasion when relations turned sour.

The Rose Valley scam is easily the largest in the state involving more than Rs 15,000 crore and dwarfs the Saradha scam of Rs 2,500 crore. Officers told HT that he allegedly availed of a number of benefits including foreign tours, vehicles and jobs for relatives.

Incidentally, the arrests of Trinamool MLAs, ministers and MPs following the Saradha scam in 2013 created waves in the state and beyond.

“I have no comments to offer. The party will say whatever it has to,” remarked the MP’s wife Naina Bandyopadhyay, also an MLA.

First Published: Jan 04, 2017 07:38 IST