KOLKATA: Ten TMC leaders, including a former minister in Mamata Banerjee's cabinet, were served show-cause notice for their alleged involvement in corruption while distributing government relief for the poor during the lockdown. The move comes after recent warnings given by the chief minister.
According to sources in the Trinamool Congress, since the party and election strategist Prashant Kishor, hired by Mamata, found that corruption by the party satraps had apparently resulted in the party’s debacle in the Lok Sabha polls. Following this, Bengal chief minister is all set to come down heavily on her party leaders on corruption issue anticipating it might again be used as a political tool ahead of 2021 Assembly elections.
"Corruption by the party leaders in panchayat and block level proved costly. It made us pariah and became the password for the saffron camp to make deep inroads in Bengal taking its tally to 18 from 2 in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. This time our party supremo is very careful about the issue," said a senior Trinamool leader.
The party on Saturday issued a show-cause letter to its former textile minister Shayamapada Mukherjee, current president of Bishnupur block in Bankura district. Two others from the same district, who were also show-caused, are Patrasayar block president Partha Pratim Sinha and Tapas Sur, the party’s youth wing president in Taldangra block. "All three have been asked to respond to the show-case notice within 48 hours," said Subhasish Batabyal, the district president of the party.
Party sources said Shayamapada was found distributing government’s relief material in the name of his son’s welfare organisation. Other two leaders also allegedly misused their position in the party while distributing rice meant for the poor during the lockdown.
Elected representative like deputy mayor of Asansol Tabassum Ara was also brought under the party’s scanner. She, along with two other councillors of the civic body, has been sent a show-cause notice for not maintaining transparency while distributing relief material. The party also show-caused trade union leader Prabhat Chatterjee who allegedly collected Rs 20 lakh from labourer contractors of Durgapur Steel Plant in the name of raising funds for the chief minister’s relief fund and he deposited the sum in the name of his organisation which does not exist.
Three other leaders of the party’s labour-arm in East Burdwan district, including district president Iftiqar Ahmed, were also handed over show-cause notices.