KOLKATA: A former Trinamool Congress councillor attempted suicide by consuming poison after a group of 40-odd beneficiaries of the state government’s welfare schemes assembled in front of his house and demanded refund of the cut money that the elected representative of the ruling party had taken from them.
The beneficiaries turned up in front of the house of Montu Mandal, councilor of Mekhliganj municipality in West Bengal’s Cooch Behar district, after he had given them a written declaration promising to refund the money, said police.
Mandal was one of the few local leaders of Trinamool who refunded part of the cut money after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee criticised her party’s satraps of taking commission from the people in exchange of enrolling their names in the list of beneficiaries of welfare schemes. Mandal held a meeting in July with the beneficiaries from whom he had taken cut money and promised to refund part of the sum after a month. He refunded money to two groups of beneficiaries on August 11 and 14 and promised to pay to a third group on August 21.
“The group came to Mandal’s house on Wednesday. When told that the money kept for them was given to some other beneficiaries, they sought an explanation from him,” said a police officer.
Mandal’s family members alleged he could not bear the humiliation and consumed pesticide. His son alleged his father was manhandled which prompted him to take the step. He was taken to a hospital.
Minister confronted on broken promises
Kolkata: West Bengal’s food processing industries and horticulture minister Abdur Rezzak Mollah faced an angry crowd when he visited a village in Bhangar, South 24-Parganas, on Wednesday to campaign for Didi Ke Bolo, an initiative of CM Mamata Banerjee to strengthen the party’s mass connect. He was asked to explain why he did not fulfill the promises made during the 2016 Assembly election campaign. Mollah arrived at Kochpukur village and spend a night at a Trinamool worker’s house.
“When he started interac- ting with the villagers, they accused him of not keeping the poll promises,” said a party leader. The villagers alleged Mollah had promised to illuminate the area like Rajarhat-New Town, but not even streetlights were not installed properly. Mollah admitted the villagers were angry. “Some works couldn’t be carried out for various reasons. I’ve taken down their grievances and will try my best to sort them out,” he said.