Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek owns TMC slogan: Mukul Roy
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Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek owns TMC slogan: Mukul Roy

The former TMC leader, however, did not claim there was any illegality involved in the move.

kolkata Updated: Nov 25, 2017 16:40 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
Maa Mati Manush,Mukul Roy,Mamata Banerjee
BJP leader Mukul Roy says Trinamool Congress slogan Maa Mati Manush is registered in the name of West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek (PTI File Photo )

Maa Mati Manush, the catchline Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee effectively used to unseat the 34-year-old Left Front government in Bengal in 2011 is registered in the name of her nephew Abhishek Banerjee, BJP leader Mukul Roy alleged on Saturday.

The former TMC leader, who switched over to the BJP earlier this month, however, did not claim there was any illegality involved in the move.

Roy’s allegation was in continuation of his previous attack on the 31-year-old Lok Sabha MP.

On November 10, Roy in his first public meeting as a BJP leader in Kolkata alleged that Banerjee was the owner of Biswa Bangla, the umbrella brand being promoted by the state government and Jago Bangla, the mouthpiece of the ruling party in Bengal.

“Abhishek Banerjee owns the Maa Mati Manush slogan. This is not an application, but a document that shows it is registered in his name,” said Roy waving a sheet of paper at a press conference.

He was flanked by BJP state president Dilip Ghosh, party central observer for Bengal Kailash Vijayvargiya and MoS heavy industries and public enterprises Babul Supriyo.

“We will present everything to the court and also in front of the public,” said Vijayvargiya.

Incidentally, a court in Alipurduar in north Bengal, in an interim injunction barred Roy from making any statement linking Banerjee to Biswa Bangla Marketing Corporation Ltd and Jago Bangla Media Pvt Ltd.

According to the Trade Mark Journal (No 1726 dated 04/01/2016), the trademark was granted on January 18, 2013 to Banerjee. The address mentioned in the journal is 30B Harish Chatterjee Street, Kolkata 26, the residence of the chief minister.

The ownership is valid up to January 18, 2023.

The slogan is derived from a Bengali rural play titled Maa Mati Manush staged in the 1970s. It was written by Bhairab Gangopadhyay.

“There is no illegality in getting a political slogan registered in an individual’s name. However, anyone owning the logo can claim royalty on anybody, or any party, organisation or even the government for using the slogan. If Abhishek Banerjee wants, he can charge the party and the government huge royalty for using his trademark,” prominent lawyer and CPI (M) leader Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharyya told HT.

After Roy’s allegation on November 10, Bengal home secretary Atri Bhattacharya and micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) secretary Rajiva Sinha claimed the marketing corporation is owned by the state government.

TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee also claimed chief minister’s nephew has nothing to do with the media company.

“I shall keep exposing more misdeeds,” Roy said at the press conference.

Reacting to the allegations, Chatterjee at a public meeting in Canning in South 24 Parganas district said: “We don’t want to respond to BJP’s allegations. But let me ask what sacrifices did their leaders make for the rights of the common man?”

Banerjee, who is also the Trinamool Youth Congress president, had on November 13 sent a legal notice to Roy, claiming that the veteran politician had made “false” statements against him and demanded an apology from him within 48 hours.

Banerjee later filed a defamation suit seeking the injunction before the court of civil judge (senior division) in Alipurduar.

First Published: Nov 25, 2017 16:40 IST