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TMC ministers get engaged in ugly verbal spat; cautioned by party

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Trouble for Mamata Banerjee ?

Two Trinamool Congress ministers were on Thursday allegedly locked in a verbal duel at a programme in Malda to distribute land rights, prompting party leadership to caution them.Minister of Refugee Rehabilitation Department Sabitri Mitra arranged the programme to distribute land rights (patta) to the refugees living at Old Malda and English Bazar sub-divisions. While the pattas were being distributed among the beneficiaries, Krishnendu Narayan Chowdhury, Minister for Food Processing, allegedly stormed on to the stage and asked the sub-divisional officers present there as to why the programme was convened without informing him.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chowdhury said neither he nor the local councillor was informed about the programme and claimed pattas could not be distributed in this manner. Mitra however defended the move to distribute pattas and said Chowdhury was “apprised” of it. “He (Krishnendu Chowdhury) threatened the officers. Why did he have to do it? I had informed him”, she said.Later the programme resumed without distribution of land rights to the beneficiaries of the English Bazar municipality. As visuals of the verbal spat between the two ministers went viral on television and the Internet, the party top leadership took exception and asked MP Subhendu Adhikari, who is the observer for the district to talk to the two ministers and caution them.The recurring incidents of internal bickering in the Trinamool Congress had forced party chief Mamata Banerjee to caution leaders on December 12, asking them to focus instead on development programme.

Seeing fury of agitation, Rajya Sabha to take up Juvenile Bill today

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Derek O’ Brien of the Trinamool Congress asked the government to pay heed to the public sentiment and discuss the Bill on an express basis.

Under pressure amid growing public protests that sparked off over the release of Delhi gang rape convict, political parties on Monday agreed to take up the Juvenile Justice Bill in the Rajya Sabha. The Bill seeks to amend the law to try those aged over 16 and accused of heinous crimes as adults.After the apex court rejected the petition seeking stay on the release of the convict, who was a few months short of 18 when he and five others attacked the victim in a moving bus, her mother Asha Devi said, “What kind of crime will make them amend the law?”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Derek O’ Brien of the Trinamool Congress asked the government to pay heed to the public sentiment and discuss the Bill on an express basis.Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad of the Congress said the party would support the Bill in the Upper House if brought on Tuesday.Both parties had earlier favoured sending the Bill to a parliamentary committee for further scrutiny, but the fury of protests changed their mind.The government pointed out that the Bill was listed on three days in the ongoing winter session. “The government is ready to bring it today, but the Congress is not allowing the House to function,” said union minister Prakash Javadekar.Replying angrily, Azad said, “It is brazen mischief by the government to defame the Opposition and divert attention from the (Arun) Jaitley issue.” He also criticised the government for bringing it through supplementary agenda.The Upper House is expected to discuss the Bill in detail on Tuesday and pass it without any hurdles.

National Herald Case: Nitish Kumar supports Congress, says no place for vendetta in politics

The Trinamool Congress too has voiced support to the Congress on the issue .

Nitish Kumar

PTI
Supporting Congress on its protest over National Herald issue, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday said there should not be any vendetta in politics and opposition should not be harassed.”There should not be any vendetta in politics. In democratic system, mandate is given to work for the public. Public mandate is not to harass opposition,” Kumar told reporters outside Parliament. He was asked about his views on the accusation of the Congress that the government is misusing the Enforcement Directorate for political vendetta.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”When Congress is saying something, then it must be well thought-out. I have no details. But when Congress is saying so it must have some meaning, otherwise why the party will say so?” he asked. He said that in such circumstances, government should clear the apprehensions in the mind of Congress. “The government has primary responsibility to run Parliament,” the JD(U) leader said when asked about the ongoing disruptions in the House.The Trinamool Congress too has voiced support to the Congress on the issue. The Chief Minister, who met Prime Minister Narendra Modi here, said, “It was a courtesy call. There was no particular issue involved in the meeting.”On Bihar package, he said, “I am hopeful that the Centre will honour the commitment made by the PM. I am hopeful it will be implemented.” Asked whether he would play a role in other state elections after Bihar success, he said, “I am doing my work in Bihar after the elections. Other political parties are there in other states. They will discuss and decide on it.” He also said he has met Assam leader Prafulla Mahanta, who is an “old friend”.On GST issue, the Bihar CM said “we support GST as it will be beneficial for all states.”

Saradha scam: CBI might shift Madan Mitra to another state

The source said that if CBI at all decided to shift Mitra from West Bengal, then that would be for getting more disclosures about his alleged involvement in the scam.

Madan Mitra

Trinamool Congress MLA and former minister Madan Mitra might be shifted to another state by the Special Crime branch of CBI probing the multi-crore Saradha ponzi scam.”We may decide to shift Madan Mitra to another state. A decision which is yet to be taken,” a CBI source investigating the scam told PTI. Mitra, who was arrested by the agency last December, is currently lodged in Alipore central correctional home after his bail was rejected by Calcutta High Court recently. To a query, he said “it is not a question whether we are happy or not happy by keeping Mitra here. We are very professional in our approach and do what is required as per law”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We were not happy when Mitra was granted bail by a lower court for which the high court was moved instantly,” he said. During his confinement since December, Mitra spent most of the time in a state-run hospital before his short-lived bail citing various ailments. However, doubts were raised about his illness as he was discharged the next day after he got the bail and declared medically fit by the hospital authorities.The source said that if CBI at all decided to shift Mitra from West Bengal, then that would be for getting more disclosures about his alleged involvement in the scam. CBI had also named Mitra as a major beneficiary in the supplementary chargesheet which it had submitted in the court. Meanwhile, CBI has summoned Trinamool Congress state general secretary Shankudeb Panda for interrogation regarding the Saradha scam tomorrow.

Land bill faces another hurdle; opposition demands PM’s clarification

As soon as the meeting began on Monday, the Trinamool Congress members demanded that the bill be withdrawn as the ordinance had been allowed to lapse.

The story of the BJP-led NDA’s contentious land acquisition bill has taken a new turn. Just when the parliamentary panel examining the bill was to wrap up its report, some Opposition members flagged off a new demand– asking Prime Minister Narendra Modi to clarify in the wake of his “Mann ki Baat” declaration that the land ordinance will not be re-promulgated.As soon as the meeting began on Monday, the Trinamool Congress members demanded that the bill be withdrawn as the ordinance had been allowed to lapse.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>However, the ruling side–BJP and Shiv Sena–rejected the demand saying the Joint Committee of Parliament was formed by the House and did not work under the direction of government. They also argued that just like a bill ‘s introduction and required the permission of the House, withdrawal of the bill also could be carried out only with the approval of the House. BJD’s B Mahtab also said the bill was the property of the House and that it was the ordinance which had lapsed.The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Second Amendment) Bill had been passed in Lok Sabha and was pending in Rajya Sabha, where the NDA is in a minority.Congress member Jairam Ramesh then said that Modi should make a statement in Parliament in the first week on government’s plans on the issue. TMC’s Kalyan Banerjee said the panel should call the Prime Minister to appear before the committee, according to sources, which was also opposed by the BJP and Shiv Sena.With the meeting ending inconclusively, Committee’s Chairman SS Ahluwalia suggested that the panel get another extension till the end of the Winter Session on December 23. The government has prioritised the GST, among other bills, for the session beginning on November 26.Modi had said in his “Mann ki baat”that the government will not re-promulgate the land ordinance and that it was ready to examine any suggestions that would be in the interests of farmers.The government had attempted to build a consensus on three, of the 14 contentious clauses, on which there was no unanimity yet. One of them is Section 24 (2) of the UPA’s 2013 bill. The Congress is of the view that the proposed amendments by the NDA government diluted the retrospective applicability of the 2013 law passed by the UPA government. The section states that all land acquisition proceedings initiated under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, shall be deemed to have lapsed in case the award was made more than five years prior to the commencement of 2013 Act but the actual possession was not taken or compensation not paid. The NDA altered it to exclude any period of court stay or injunction from the computation of the five-year period.Another point of disagreement is the proposed amendment that will give the government overriding powers to make changes in any provision of the Act through executive orders for ‘removal of difficulty’. As per the 2013 Act, this power was limited to only a certain part of the Act and to a period of two years, which expires on December 31, 2015. It is now proposed to be increased by another five years.Committee members from opposition parties such as the Congress, Trinamool Congress and the Left are in no mood to concede to the Modi government’s stand on these three clauses.

Land bill: Opposition members in joint panel want PM Modi’s explanation

As soon as the meeting began here, members from Trinamool Congress said that since the ordinance to amend the land bill has lapsed, the bill should be withdrawn as they are identical in nature.

Narendra Modi

Opposition members in the joint committee of Parliament examining the contentious land acquisition bill on Monday demanded calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a witness, an idea opposed by the ruling BJP and ally Shiv Sena.As soon as the meeting began here, members from Trinamool Congress said that since the ordinance to amend the land bill has lapsed, the bill should be withdrawn as they are identical in nature.But BJP and Shiv Sena members in the panel opposed the demand saying that the committee has been mandated to submit its report on the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Second Amendment) Bill, 2015 and it should adhere to its responsibility.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At this, Kalyan Banerjee (TMC) said since Prime Minister Modi had himself made it clear in his August 30 ‘Mann ki Baat’ radio broadcast that the land ordinance will not be re-promulgated, there is no point in examining the bill since it is a copy of the ordinance. Amid a debate, he demanded that the Prime Minister be called as a witness to explain about the bill. His demand was supported by Congress members who said the panel was free to call anyone as witness.The demand of the Congress and the Trinamool Congress was opposed by BJP and Shiv Sena. Before the meeting was adjourned, panel chairman S S Ahluwalia suggested that the panel get another extension till the end of the Winter session on December 23 to submit its report. If the Committee seeks another extension, then the possibility of the land bill clearing Parliament in the Winter session beginning November 26 seems remote.In August, the panel had been granted a fresh extension to submit its report in the Winter session. Ahluwalia had been striving to submit a unanimous report.”Rise&Shine.In Del for Land Acqstn Bill panel meeting. Why drag it on? Govt should withdraw and move on. Peace offering before Winter Session?,” another TMC member in the panel Derek O’ Brien had tweeted this morning ahead of the meeting. In his ‘Mann ki baat’ Modi had said that the government will not re-promulgate the land ordinance which expired on August 31 and had declared readiness to accept any suggestions to benefit the farmers in the pending bill on it.

Saradha scam: Suspended TMC MP Kunal Ghosh ‘temporarily’ ends hunger strike after 39 days

Ghosh has been fasting since October 10 last demanding a fair probe into the Saradha scam

Kunal Ghosh
File Photo

On the 39th day of his hunger strike, suspended Trinamool Congress MP Kunal Ghosh on Tuesday withdrew it ‘temporarily.’Ghosh’s decision to break his fast came after a city court decided to review his appeal of a fair probe into the Saradha scam. Ghosh knew he would not be allowed in the court if he continued fasting, so he has called it off, a senior officer of the Presidency jail said.The next date of hearing is November 20 (Friday). Ghosh has been fasting since October 10 last demanding a fair probe into the Saradha scam. He was arrested on November 23, 2013 by the CBI and sent to custody on September 4, 2014, after the central investigating agency took over investigation into the Ponzi scams on the orders of the Supreme Court. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

PM Modi should be given a chance, says TMC MP Moonmoon Sen

Moonmoon Sen

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday found a supporter in Trinamool Congress MP Moonmoon Sen who felt “we should give him a chance”.Talking to a local news channel Sen said “I think we should give him (Modi) a chance. He has done a very good job winning all those votes and we have to give him a chance as a Prime Minister.””His (Modi’s) own party (BJP) is not giving him a chance. Let’s see what he does in five years and then we can go against him,” she said.Asked about the protests against intolerance, Sen said “We have more media today, we have more cameras, we have more microphones. So the exposure is more. “But tell me, wasn’t child marriage always there? Even nowadays Sati happens. These things have been prevalent in our country all along. Today they (the protestors) are able to come together, because there is a computer, there is a website. You (the media) are there,” she said.”There is nothing new in protesting,” Sen added. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Saradha scam: CBI to appeal against Madan Mitra’s bail

Mitra was granted bail by ACJM (in-charge) of Alipore District and Sessions Court Partha Das on condition that he would furnish a bond of Rs two lakh, cannot leave the state, submit his passport and cooperate with the investigation process

Madan Mitra

West Bengal minister Madan Mitra who was arrested by the CBI in connection with the Saradha scam 10 months ago was on Saturday granted bail by a court, which the TMC said vindicated its stand that none of its members were involved in the scam while the investigation agency said it would move a higher court.Mitra was granted bail by ACJM (in-charge) of Alipore District and Sessions Court Partha Das on condition that he would furnish a bond of Rs two lakh, cannot leave the state, submit his passport and cooperate with the investigation process. Trinamool Congress secretary general Partha Chatterjee told a news conference that Mitra’s bail not only vindicated the party’s stand that none of its members were involved in the scam, but it brought a sense of relief as well.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”CBI had falsely implicated Mitra in the Saradha scam and his bail today is a testimony to that,” he said adding efforts to tarnish Trinamool Congress’ image would not fructify. On the other hand, CBI’s investigating officer dealing with the case told PTI that the agency would move a higher court next week seeking cancellation of Mitra’s bail.”The probe has reached an advanced stage and the bail may jeopardise the process”, the officer said. Mitra was named in the supplementary chargesheet submitted by CBI in court as a beneficiary. The minister was arrested in December 2014 and was in jail custody since then.

West Bengal municipal election: Re-polling in Bidhannagar, Asansol on October 8 – SEC

The counting of votes will be held on October 9.

Trinamool Congress staged a day-long sit-in in front of the state election commission office demanding immediate vote counting after the commission deferred it.

A day after the West Bengal State Election Commission announced deferring of vote counting, the state election commissioner Sushanta Ranjan Upadhyay announced re-polling of several wards of Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation. “After we received several complaints, we have decided to carry out re-polling at several wards of Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation on October 8,” said Upadhyay.Besides Bidhannagar, several wards of Asansol and Howrah Municipal Corporation will also go through re-polling. The counting of votes will be held on October 9.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Monday, Trinamool Congress staged a day-long sit-in led by mayor Sovan Chatterjee in front of the state election commission office demanding immediate vote counting after the commission deferred it.

3 arrested in journalist assault case

The opposition – CPI(M), Congress and BJP – blamed the ruling Trinamool Congress for the attack and alleged malpractices, but the TMC said CPI(M) instigated the violence.

One of the journalists who was attacked

Three persons were on Monday arrested on charge of attacking journalists during Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation polls on October 3. “We have arrested Ashis Ghosh, Bittu Das, Gopal Routh. We will move the lower court with prayer of test dentification parade,” a senior official of Bidhannagar Police Commissionerate said. Several reporters and camera persons were allegedly assaulted by “musclemen” when they covering the polls. The opposition – CPI(M), Congress and BJP – blamed the ruling Trinamool Congress for the attack and alleged malpractices, but the TMC said CPI(M) instigated the violence. The West Bengal State Election Commission last evening postponed counting of votes in the election to Bidhannagar as well as Asansol Municipal Corporations in the wake of allegations of large-scale violence by the opposition which also demanded fresh elections.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The counting of votes in the elections was earlier scheduled to be conducted on October 7. The SEC said it would go through reports and video footage of violence from its own sources and also news channels before taking any further decision.

West Bengal: Civic poll marred by violence, over 70% cast votes

Rubbishing opposition allegations that ruling Trinamool Congress had used outsiders to unleash violence in Bidhannagar and Asansol, senior party leader and state Education Minister Partha Chatterjee said “The opposition parties have tried to create violence during the elections.

Image courtesy: ANI
Sporadic violence and assaults on journalists on Saturday marred elections to two municipal corporations in West Bengal as over 70 per cent people cast their votes.”The voter turnout till 5 pm in Bidhanngar and Asansol was 71%. We have received complaints of violence, rigging and malpractices from both places. We are looking into those complaints and will decide the course of action,” State Election Commissioner S R Upadhaya told PTI. The election to Bally under Howrah Municipal Corporation and Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad passed off peacefully, he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rubbishing opposition allegations that ruling Trinamool Congress had used outsiders to unleash violence in Bidhannagar and Asansol, senior party leader and state Education Minister Partha Chatterjee said “The opposition parties have tried to create violence during the elections. As the ruling party why should we create violence? We want to categorically state that in Bengal rule of the law has been established under Mamata Banerjee.”As ruling party we will never want any breach of peace,” Chatterjee, also TMC secretary general, said and accused CPI(M) of trying to create disturbance during the polls.He said it is the duty of the State Election Commission to see that the elections are conducted peacefully. Several journalists of various media houses were assaulted while covering the elections in the Bidhannagar.Asked about it, Chatterjee condemned it and said “We feel that whoever has done this is wrong. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee inquired into the incident. Those responsible for the attacks would be identified and the administration will deal with them.”Also Read: West Bengal municipality election: Widespread violence marks Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation pollsChatterjee while replying to a query on “outsiders” being brought by TMC to unleash violence, said “It is the job of the SEC to see who is an outsider and who is not. It is SEC who conducts the election,” S R Upadhaya when asked said, “The SEC has to work with the state machinery and the resources available from the state government.” Left Front chairman Biman Bose described the civic polls in Bidhannagaar and Asansol as “mere farce” and alleging massive rigging there demanded re-polling at some wards. Also Read: West Bengal Municipality Elections: Journalists attacked by mob led by TMC leaderPolice said a few motorcycles were burnt during a clash between supporters of two political parties at VIP Road during the polling. Senior CPI-M leader Gautam Deb announced that the Left Front has called a 12-hour bandh at Rajarhat-Bidhannagar area on Monday in protest against the alleged malpractices and violence. Alleging that the hoodlums belonged to ruling party and were aided by the administration and police, Bose said “We condemn this act where democracy has been attacked and the democratic rights of the people have been snatched in the name of elections.”He said besides the bandh, Left Front would hold rallies and demonstrations across the state on Monday in protest against the alleged rigging at several wards. West Bengal Congress president Adhir Chowdhury too condemned the violence during today’s poll and alleged that “TMC has turned the election in Bengal into a farce”.BJP and the Left Front workers staged a sit-in outside the SEC office against the alleged malpractices and violence during the polls. SEC officials and state police said there were reports of bombs being hurled at Jamuria in Asansol and Bidhanagar and people being stopped from the casting their votes.”We are taking stock of the situation,” they said. The polls are a precursor to next year’s assembly polls in Bengal when arch rivals Trinamool Congress and Left Front will be pitted against each other. Votes for the civic polls will be counted on October seven. Meanwhile, the Kolkata Press Club has strongly condemned the attack on journalists during the municipal elections and has demanded strict action against the culprits.”We note with immense concern that many of our fellow journalists and photo-journalists were either attacked or roughed up allegedly by ruling party members or hoodlums when they were discharging their duties during today’s election in Salt Lake, Rajarhat, as also in Bally and Asansol,” a statement from the Press Club said.”Mere words of condemnation are no single solution to such persistent acts of cowardice by the hoodlums, patronised by political parties. We demand strict action by the police authorities, including arrest of the guilty and exemplary punishment to them as an immediate measure,” the statement added.

West Bengal: Yechury says assault on journalists cold blooded murder of democracy, demands fresh civic polls

Sporadic violence and assaults on journalists on Saturday marred elections to two municipal corporations in West Bengal even as over 70 per cent people cast their votes.

Sporadic violence and assaults on journalists on Saturday marred elections to two municipal corporations (File Photo)

dna Research & Archives
Lambasting the ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal over violence in Municipal elections, CPI-M on Saturday said it was a “cold blooded murder of democracy” and called for fresh elections to the two Municipal Corporations monitored by Central forces. “Today in the Bengal elections media too has been roundly attacked by the Trinamool Congress. It is a cold blooded murder of democracy in West Bengal. And in the interest of democracy, there should be fresh elections monitored by Central forces. Otherwise, the process of restoring democracy and rule of law in Bengal is in danger,” CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said when asked to comment about about violence in municipal polls and assaults on journalists.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sporadic violence and assaults on journalists on Saturday marred elections to two municipal corporations in West Bengal even as over 70 per cent people cast their votes. “The voter turnout till 5 pm in Bidhanngar and Asansol was 71 per cent. We have received complaints of violence, rigging and malpractices from both places. We are looking into those complaints and will decide the course of action,” State Election Commissioner S R Upadhaya said. The election to Bally under Howrah Municipal Corporation and Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad passed off peacefully, he said.Rubbishing opposition allegations that rulingTrinamool Congress had used outsiders to unleash violence in Bidhannagar and Asansol, senior ruling party leader and state Education Minister Partha Chatterjee said “The opposition parties have tried to create violence during the elections. As the ruling party why should we create violence? We want to categorically state that in Bengal rule of the law has been established under Mamata Banerjee.” Several journalists of various media houses were assaulted while covering the elections in the Bidhannagar.Senior CPI-M leader Gautam Deb announced that the Left Front has called a 12-hour bandh at Rajarhat-Bidhannagar area on Monday in protest against the alleged malpractices and violence.

West Bengal Municipality Elections: Journalists attacked by mob led by TMC leader

On repeated requests from the reporters, police officers present at the spot, remained mute spectator

Mintu Basak

Three Zee 24 Ghanta journalists were attacked at Bidhannagar’s ward 33 while covering the Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation polls on Saturday.A mob led by Trinamool Congress leader Sujit Basu pelted stones at Zee 24 Ghanta reporter Bikram Das. Cameraperson Mintu Basak was hit on the head with a helmet by Trinamool Congress supporters. Cameras and other equipments were vandalised by the miscreants led by the Trinamool Congress leader.Basak has been rushed to the state-run Bidhannagar hospital with serious head injuries.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Also Read: LIVE Update West Bengal Municipality Elections: Widespread violence reported, media attackedA female reporter of the same media house was surrounded by an unruly mob and was threatened that she would be taken into a car and raped any moment. They constantly hurled abuses at her, it was only then that reporters of other media houses escorted her, she returned to a safe place.This apart, three journalists of ABP Ananda – Aritrik Bhattacharya, Partha Sarathi Chakraborty and Prakash Sinha were also attacked by the same mob. Bhattacharya and Chakraborty have suffered serious injuries.Sujit Basu and other Trinamool Congress leaders have cordoned off the area and are preventing them from entering it.On repeated requests from the reporters, police officers present at the spot, remained mute spectators. Police officers turned a blind eye and did not rush to help reporters who were being beaten up right in front of them. Senior IPS officers of the Bidhannagar Police Commissionerate refused to help injured reporters despite receiving several frantic and distressed calls.

TMC leader Anubrata Mandal threatens to gouge out eyes of Left supporters

This is not the first time that Mandal has made such a remark.

Youtube Grab
Trinamool Congress leader and party president of West Bengal’s Birbhum district, Anubrata Mandal, stirred yet another controversy by saying that he will gouge out eyes of the CPM supporters. “If CPM supporters gives us a red-eyed look, we will also give them a red-eyed look. If they continue to do so, we will gouge out their eyes,” said Mandal on Sunday while addressing a party supporters meet in Burdwan. Two months ago, Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee’s nephew and first-time Lok Sabha MP Abhishek Banerjee had made a similar remark. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”If anyone looks at West Bengal with evil intentions, we will gouge their eyes out and throw them on the road; if they raise their hands, we’ll cut their arms off. But in a democracy, the will of the people is the last word. I don’t want anyone to be harmed,” Banerjee had said. This is not the first time that Mandal has made such a remark. Last year, during Panchayat elections in the state, he had reportedly asked Trinamool Congress supporters to burn down houses of independent candidates. He had even gone to the extent of asking his supporters to launch bomb attacks on police if they come to the rescue of independent candidates.

Bharat Bandh: Mamata Banerjee calls for end to ‘bandh culture’, blames it on Marxists

West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said she was a supporter of the working class but was against bandh as it has no future but the Marxists were trying to survive by resorting to frequent bandhs.

Mamata Banerjee

PTI photo
West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said she was a supporter of the working class but was against bandh as it has no future but the Marxists were trying to survive by resorting to frequent bandhs.”I am totally a supporter of the working class. If I have anything to say I can fight, I can negotiate, I can protest keeping the industry open. Bandh has no future”, she told reporters at the state secretariat.”Politically we (Trinamool Congress) are against BJP but we are against bandh. Bandh culture should be stopped. The state government will not tolerate it any more. People don’t accept bandh,” the TMC supremo said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Referring to the general strike by 10 central trade unions to protest against changes in labour laws, Banerjee said “We have already opposed some points in the labour laws.We have also written (to the centre) in this regard.” Ridiculing CPI-M, she said “Why are they not going to Delhi to fight this out? In fact, they have no power in Delhi. It is not that they are doing something for the labour class.They are trying to survive by calling frequent bandhs in a year. CPI-M tried to create violence, but our workers have shown restraint … Bandh has failed to evoke any response,” the chief minister said.The state government offices in the city today recorded 93 per cent attendance and it was 97 per cent in the districts, she claimed adding “The strike also failed in the coal sector, port, tea gardens and other industries.Although many shops in the metropolis were closed, they were open in the districts.”Banerjee said over 1000 people were arrested throughout the state for trying to enforce the bandh, whose supporters even resorted to cut overhead wires of the railways. She said TMC would organise protests in all blocks in the state to protest against the bandh.The chief minister said those who worked during the bandh would be rewarded and action would be taken against those remained absent as per rules.The government had yesterday informed the traders that they would be compensated in case of any damage if they kept their shops open. “Still some of them kept their shops closed. It is upto them,” she said.Banerjee said her government would abide by the directions of the Supreme court and High court regarding strike.

Bharat bandh: Unrest in West Bengal; TMC, CPM workers clash in Murshidabad

The trade unions are opposing proposed labour law amendments by the Narendra Modi-led government, that they deem as pro-investors and anti-labour.

CPM, TMC workers clash in Murshidabad.

ANI
West Bengal witnessed sporadic cases of violence in the first few hours of the nationwide strike called by Left-affiliated trade unions on Wednesday. Over 15 crore people from 10 trade unions are expected to join a nationwide one-day strike that is underway since morning. In Murshidabad district’s Berhampore, Trinamool Congress supporters allegedly pelted stones on CPM supporters leaving several injured. Left leader, Moinul Hassan and seven others, including two women were seen attacked by Trinamool Congress supporters. They were seriously injured in the brick batting and are admitted to the local hospital.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Later, RAF was rushed to the spot to bring the situation under control. Police and RAF personnel resorted to a lathicharge to disperse agitating demonstrators of Left and Trinamool Congress.The scene in Kolkata was not any different. CPM party office at Ramgarh under Patuli Police Station limits was vandalised by allegedly Trinamool Congress supporters.Several women supporters of Socialist Unity Centre of India protesting at Esplanade, were arrested by police for blocking the road.Meanwhile, normal life was hit as most offices and taxis remained off the roads. Despite the effort by the state transport department to press more buses and taxis into service, commuters faced a harrowing time finding a vehicle to reach their office. On the other hand, Metro trains were overflowing with passengers. Several rail blockades were put across Sodepur and Sealdah rail lines. Most schools remained closed on Wednesday.The trade unions are opposing proposed labour law amendments by the Narendra Modi-led government, that they deem as pro-investors and anti-labour. Trade unions have sought for an increase in minimum wages, regularising contract labour amid agitation that the Centre made amendments to the laws without consulting the unions.

Kolkata: Students gherao VC of Presidency University protesting manhandling by police during Mamata’s visit

The students were protesting against the April 2, 2013 incident where SFI leader Sudipta Gupta died allegedly in police custody after a protest rally.

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Students of Presidency University gheraoed their Vice Chancellor, Anuradha Lohia, on Friday, demanding her immediate resignation after several students were allegedly manhandled on campus by the police during Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s visit. The Vice Chancellor was gheraoed by the students from 5.30 pm on Friday, forcing her to spend the night in office. “I am not going to resign as I have not done anything wrong,” Lohia said. “I did not call the police inside the campus. Since there was VVIP movement, the police personnel were deployed. If the students have suffered any injuries, I will look into it,” she added. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Trouble broke out during the Chief Minister Banerjee’s maiden visit to the university on Friday when students waved black flags at her and raised slogans like ‘Presidency does not welcome you, CM’ and ‘You are not welcome, CM’. The students were protesting the April 2, 2013 incident where SFI leader Sudipta Gupta allegedly died in police custody after a protest rally. The same year, on April 10, a procession led by Trinamool Congress supporters barged onto the premises of the university and ransacked their laboratory.Also Read: Mamata Banerjee shown black flags at Presidency UniversityWhile the Chief Minister was leaving after her visit, students were allegedly manhandled by police to clear the way for her. “When the Chief Minister was leaving, we all rushed towards her. That is when police in civil clothes started pushing us and manhandling us. So many of my friends have suffered serious injuries. Police cannot manhandle students on campus. The vice chancellor has to resign,” said Trisha Chanda, general secretary, Independents’ Consolidation. The students said that they will now boycott the convocation ceremony that is to be held at the university on Saturday.On the other hand, Trinamool Congress Chatra Parishad, the youth wing of the Trinamool Congress, has announced a counter rally led by the unit’s state secretary Ashok Rudra to condemn the gherao by students.

BJP fails to solve Land Bill deadlock, moves it to winter session

With the Bill deferred, the Centre may have to re-promulgate the Land Bill ordinance, which was first brought in last December. The Centre had a slim hope of bringing out a consensus report on the last day of monsoon session, following the August 3 meeting in which there was agreement to nullify six contentious amendments.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) failed to resolve the deadlock over the Land Acquisition (Amendment) Bill, 2015 in the joint parliamentary committee thus leaving it with no option but to defer the controversial Bill to winter session of Parliament.After arriving at a consensus in the last meeting to roll back six contentious amendments of the Bill, the committee was to discuss three more clauses and submit a report to the Parliament on August 13. But, on Monday, the meeting saw another round of heated discussion as committee chairman SS Ahluwalia tried to persuade opposition members for a consensus in the final report.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Members of the Congress and Trinamool Congress said that there would be no consensus until the Bill was restored to its original 2013 version, as was passed in the Parliament. Congress MP’s Jairam Ramesh and Rajeev Satav walked out of the meeting, as the Ahluwalia made remarks about tactical delays, but were immediately called back.Further, Trinamool Congress members told Ahluwalia that they need more time to study all the amendments. With too many differences in the committee and little or no time left to adopt the report before the monsoon session ends, Ahluwalia moved a proposal to defer the Bill. This was accepted by all except Samajwadi Party and Nationalist Congress Party.With the Bill deferred, the Centre may have to re-promulgate the Land Bill ordinance, which was first brought in last December. The Centre had a slim hope of bringing out a consensus report on the last day of monsoon session, following the August 3 meeting in which there was agreement to nullify six contentious amendments. These related to consent clause, social impact assessment, exemption of certain projects from provisions of the Bill, on prosecution of officers, definition of private entity and acquisition for industrial corridors. But, the Lok Sabha speaker suspended 25 members of the Congress for disrupting the House and in the subsequent meeting, on August 4, Congress members requested cancellation of the meeting.This left the committee with only Monday’s meeting to draw out a unanimous report.

West Bengal: Police gives clean chit to TMC students’ wing in lynching case

Photo courtesy: Zee 24 Ghanta

Two days after a third-year student Krishna Prasad Jana of a Sabang college in West Midnapore district of West Bengal was allegedly beaten to death by Trinamool Congress Chatra Parishad (TMCP) members, District Superintendent of Police, Bharati Ghosh gave a clean chit to TMCP.”The CCTV footage reveals that a single student group, armed with rods and sticks went on a rampage,” claimed Ghosh. Without naming any party-affiliated student unions, the police indicated that it was Chatra Parishad and and not TMCP who were involved in the incident. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ghosh went on to add, “The three in custody were arrested based on the names mentioned in the FIR. But, the CCTV footage does not show their involvement.”However, the copy of the CCTV footage, in possession of dna, shows one of the accused, who is now in police custody, SK Munna getting into a scuffle with the victim, Jana.It is noteworthy that the CCTV footage of the union room, where Jana was beaten to death, is missing. Opposition leaders claim that the part of the footage that has gone missing has been deleted by the TMCP.”TMCP members along with the support of the district police officials have deleted the most important part of the footage. That part of the footage could have thrown light on who the real culprits are,” said Samik Lahiri, CPI(M) leader.Meanwhile, the Pradesh Congress President Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury has demanded a CBI probe into the student’s death and called for a 12-hour state-wide bandh on August 20.The college student was allegedly lynched to death during a clash between student unions of Congress and Trinamool Congress over felicitation of West Bengal minister Soumen Kumar Mahapatra at a college at Sabang in West Midnapore district on Friday.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee leaves for UK on 5-day tour

“We are all going there together (amra eksathe jachhi),” she said apparently referring to the team comprising leading city-based industrialists, her ministerial colleague, an internationally known academician and Trinamool Congress MP, besides top bureaucrats.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday said she was expecting a number of MoUs to be signed during her five-day visit to the United Kingdom.Banerjee, who left for UK at about 10 AM today, told reporters at the N S C B International Airport here, “We are hopeful about attracting investment to make West Bengal an ideal destination.”To a question if she was foreseeing her four-year old dream to turn Kolkata into London would fructify with this visit, Banerjee said, “Let’s go there first (age jaoa jak).”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We are all going there together (amra eksathe jachhi),” she said apparently referring to the team comprising leading city-based industrialists, her ministerial colleague, an internationally known academician and Trinamool Congress MP, besides top bureaucrats.Banerjee, however, emphasised that while her official delegation consisted of 12 members, comprising of state cabinet, senior officials and MP, the rest of the 50-member team would bear their own travel expenses.The tour could pave way for agreements on health, education and other social sectors, Finance Minister Amit Mitra had said earlier.Apart from Mitra, three Trinamool Congress MPs Derek O’Brien, internationally known academician-party MP Sugato Bose, actor Deepak Adhikari (Deb), Kolkata Mayor Sovan Chatterjee, several officials, ITC Chairman Y C Deveshwar, RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group Chairman Sanjiv Goenka and Ambuja Neotia Group Chairman Harsh Neotia were part of the whole team.Among other engagements, she would attend a meeting of UKIBC and FICCI to discuss various issues related to business opportunities in the state, they said.The CM would meet the Duke of York, Prince Andrew at Buckingham Palace, the officials said.Banerjee would also meet British Employment Minister Priti Patel at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office where the MoUs would be signed.She would pay floral tributes at the statues of Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore and there would be a cultural event at the Natural History Museum.She would return to Kolkata on July 31.

BJP central team visits Bengal village, blames TMC government for ‘terror raj’

Blaming the state government for the “constant reign of terror” in West Bengal, BJP MP and national spokesperson MJ Akbar on Saturday said people of the state will throw out Trinamool Congress in the next elections.

Blaming the state government for the “constant reign of terror” in West Bengal, BJP MP and national spokesperson MJ Akbar on Saturday said people of the state will throw out Trinamool Congress in the next elections.Akbar, who led a three-member BJP delegation to Mograhat in South 24-Parganas district where a 14-year-old girl was allegedly abducted a few months back, told PTI, “The people here are living under a constant reign of terror. They are terrified. The police is sitting idle.”Instead of taking action to find the girl, they (police) are sitting mum and whoever is trying to search for the girl they are sending them to the TMC goons,” Akbar said, adding, the delegation would submit the report to party President Amit Shah.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”If action is not taken and the girl is not rescued, Moghrahat will turn into the next Nandigram for the next change in Bengal,” he said. “The people of Bengal will give a befitting reply to this reign of terror,” he added. The delegation consisted of three MPs – Akbar, Arjun Ram Meghwal and Saroj Pandey.The BJP unit in Bengal led by Rahul Sinha along with other party leaders including BJP’s state media convener Krishanu Mitra, have begun a sit-in protest demanding rescue of the kidnapped girl Tuktuki Mondal since Thursday night. The police have failed to make any breakthrough so far.

Vyapam needs to be probed by neutral, capable authority: Mamata Banerjee

West Bengal Chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said she was in favour of a probe by a neutral and capable agency into the Vyapam scam.

PTI
West Bengal Chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said she was in favour of a probe by a neutral and capable agency into the Vyapam scam.Reacting to the scandal that has caused a national outcry, she told reporters here that it was a matter of concern as it amounted to “cold blooded murders”.Asked whether a CBI probe would be appropriate, she said “Why only CBI? I have respect for all agencies. And even the CBI has not been able to solve all cases. What I want is probe by a neutral and capable authority”.The Trinamool Congress supremo had yesterday said that her party would raise the scam in Parliament during the coming monsoon session and had demanded a Supreme Court-monitored probe.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The Trinamool Congress will raise its voice against Vyapam scam in Parliament. I strongly condemn the incident. It should be investigated under the monitoring of the Supreme Court,” Banerjee had said in Kolkata on Monday reacting to the scandal that has caused a national outrage.

Vyapam scam is cold-blooded murder, want Supreme Court-monitored probe: Mamata Banerjee

Describing the spate of deaths linked to the Vyapam scam as “cold-blooded murders”, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said the Trinamool Congress would raise the issue during the upcoming monsoon of Parliament and demanded a Supreme Court-monitored probe.

PTI
Describing the spate of deaths linked to the Vyapam scam as “cold-blooded murders”, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said the Trinamool Congress would raise the issue during the upcoming monsoon of Parliament and demanded a Supreme Court-monitored probe.”The Trinamool Congress will raise its voice against Vyapam scam in Parliament. I strongly condemn the incident. It should be investigated under the monitoring of the Supreme Court,” Banerjee said here reacting to the scandal that has triggered an outrage.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”It is not merely a law and order issue. It is something bigger than that. So many killings have taken place. Many people are involved. It is cold-blooded murders,” Banerjee said.Asked if she would demand a CBI probe into the admission and recruitment scam, Banerjee said that since she knew the fate of CBI probes into Netaji massacre, Nandigram firing and Tagore’s Nobel medallion theft, she would prefer an investigation to be monitored by the apex court.”The incident has crossed all limits. We want truth to come out,” she said.TMC Rajya Sabha MP and national spokesperson Derek O’ Brien said it was appropriate that the Supreme Court took suo motu action and order an ‘appropriate’ probe.”We are deeply concerned over the series of deaths including those of journalists, educationists and others. In these circumstances we think it is appropriate that the Supreme Court takes suo motu action and orders an appropriate probe to be monitored by it. This is the only way the truth will come out,” O’Brien said in a statement.

Hate speech: TMC says Abhishek Banerjee’s comment blown out of proportion

His comment has been blown out of proportion. The BJP is lodging cases against Abhishek. We too will lodge cases against Rahul Sinha for his comments,” West Bengal Food and Supplies Minister Jyotipriyo Mallick told PTI.

A senior Trinamool Congress leader and minister on Wednesday came to the defence of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee, saying he did not made any controversial comment and that whatever he said had been blown out of proportion.”He (Abhishek) did not make any controversial comment. His comment has been blown out of proportion. The BJP is lodging cases against Abhishek. We too will lodge cases against Rahul Sinha for his comments,” West Bengal Food and Supplies Minister Jyotipriyo Mallick told PTI.On Monday, while addressing a meeting at Basirhat in North-Parganas district Abhishek Banerjee had threatened to “chop off hands and gouge out eyes” of those who dared to challenge the ruling party, inviting strong criticism from opposition parties.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A state BJP leader filed a complaint at a city police station against Abhishek, who heads the youth wing of the Trinamool Congress. Top CPI-M leaders, including party general secretary Sitaram Yechury, and BJP leaders, including the party’s national secretary Siddharth Nath Singh, condemned Abhishek’s inflammatory statement.

Rahul Gandhi slams Modi, Mamata; questions ‘friendship’

Alluding to the bonhomie between BJP and Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress as she heads to Bangladesh during Modi’s visit there, Gandhi said, “When our (UPA) government was there, our PM wanted to go to Bangladesh. Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday came down heavily on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accusing him of trying to deflect attention away from the NDA government’s “unfulfilled promises”, and also targeted West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as he questioned her “friendship” with BJP.At a rally in Kolkata, he sought to project Congress as the viable third alternative for the state, saying his party will bring a change in the fortunes of West Bengal, where Assembly polls are due in 2016. Alluding to the bonhomie between BJP and Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress as she heads to Bangladesh during Modi’s visit there, Gandhi said, “When our (UPA) government was there, our PM wanted to go to Bangladesh. We spoke to her and requested her to go with us. She said no, ‘ekla chalo re’ (I will go alone).<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Now, Modiji is there, so no ‘ekla chalo re’. We will go together. Why is this happening? What is the friendship about? You must be knowing the reason.” In his over 20-minute speech, Gandhi lambasted Banerjee, an erstwhile UPA ally, saying that contrary to her promise of freeing West Bengal from the “persecution” under the Left, she had “doubled” it after becoming chief minister of West Bengal. Congress and TMC had fought the 2011 Assembly elections together in the state which had brought to an the 35-year rule of the Left in West Bengal.Turning his guns on the prime minister, Gandhi accused him of not fulfilling his promises and repeated his jibe of “suit- boot ki sarkar” to paint the Modi government as “pro-rich” and “anti-poor” and “anti-farmer”. He also slammed the NDA government over the land Bill as he referred to the agrarian and tribal agitations in Nandigram, Bhatta Parsaul and Niyamgri.”One year back, a new government came in Delhi. It made a lot of promises like the ones made by Mamata ji. It talked about employment, development, opening factories. Both (Modi and Mamata) said this. One year (of Modi government) has been completed now. “He talked about sanitation. He said that you won’t get employment and so hold a broom and start sweeping. When the talk of ‘swachchata’ is over, now he is saying that go and do Yoga on Rajpath. There is no word about employment. Every day something new is said. All these new things are being said to cover up the unfulfilled promises,” Gandhi said. The Congress Vice President also attacked the Modi government over the ‘One Rank, One Pension’ issue. “Money was given for the OROP for ex-jawans during the UPA regime. Before (Lok Sabha) elections, Modi ji went to Punjab, Haryana, everywhere, and promised that he will implement it within one year if his government came to power. Now, the armymen are crying. They are holding agitation and demanding that a date should be given for implementing it.”But Modi is saying ‘ask us later as we are doing Yoga’,” said Gandhi. Repeatedly attacking the Modi government over the land Bill, he claimed that even though the NDA dispensation will give land to industrialists, jobs will not come to people.He said that industrialists are not demanding land in some remote area but in places like Gurgaon, Noida and Kolkata, where property prices are rising. Gandhi said that while Congress wants that farmers whose land is acquired in these areas also benefit from the appreciation in land prices, NDA government will only give the land to industrialists without any benefit from it accruing to the people.The Congress Vice President also reserved some of his fire for the Left parties, saying that when West Bengal was under their rule, “they used to hit the state hard with the hammer”. “They (Left parties) had the organisation here. While the rest of the country moved forward, this state got stuck,” he said, adding that he had thought things would change after the 2011 state polls.Pointing at TMC’s party symbol, which bears an image of flowers, Gandhi said he had thought that the softness of petals would replace the blow of ‘hammer and sickle’ (election symbol of CPI-M) when Banerjee came to power in the state.”Now, it comes to fore that the flower is making a harder blow than the hammer. Mamata ji had done it all the more efficiently and deeply than what they (CPI-M) had done,” he said. The “suppression” of people that happened during the Left rule has now increased all the more, he alleged.Claiming that Mamata is doing what the Left had done earlier, Gandhi said, “One crore youths are unemployed as per the state government records. She said I will bring industry, where is the industry? Has any industry come? “She said she will stop atrocities committed during Left Front rule. She has doubled such atrocities,” he alleged.

Have power, will abuse: Bengal minister makes security guard tie his shoelaces

Kolkata: West Bengal planning minister Rachhpal Singh on Monday courted controversy after one of his security guards was caught on tape while tying his shoelaces at the state secretariat, Nabanna.

Screenshot from Youtube video showing the guard tying the minister's shoelaces.

Screenshot from Youtube video showing the guard tying the minister’s shoelaces.

Singh, a Trinamool Congress MLA from Tarakeshwar and a former IPS officer, drew flak as TV channels broadcast video footage showing a security officer tying the shoelaces after Singh had paid homage to sculptor and painter Ramkinkar Baij on his birth anniversary at the secretariat.

“Such a thing is unthinkable in the 21st century. This is reflective of the political bankruptcy of the Trinamool Congress and its leaders,” CPI-M leader and former Kolkata mayor Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya said.

Social activist Miratun Nahar and theatre personality Kaushik Sen too condemned the incident.

“Unless those surrounding ministers and influential people stop resorting to sycophancy, such incidents will continue to happen. I also have serious doubts if Singh is aware about Baij or his exploits,” said Sen.

Former police officer Samir Ganguly said he was not surprised by the incident.

“Sycophancy is a part of the department. There are many who shamelessly run errands for their superiors, hoping for a better posting and promotion,” said Ganguly, a former deputy commissioner of city police.

IANS

TMC worker shot at following CPI(M)’s victory in Englishbazar

Post poll violence followed announcement of the municipal election results in Kolkata.

A Trinamool Congress party worker was shot at last night in his sleep in the outskirts of Malda town, in what police believed to be a case of post poll violence following announcement of the Municipal election results in the area.Pintu Mondal (27) was shot at by unknown assailants through the window while he was asleep at Raipara, the official said today. Mondol was rushed to Malda Medical College Hospital from where he was shifted to Kolkata as his condition deteriorated, the official said. Trinamool Congress workers launched a road blockade this morning on the Malda-Manikchak road in protest against the shooting. The official said political rivalry was suspected behind the incident.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Earlier yesterday, the CPI(M) which won Englishbazar ward no: 25 in the just concluded municipal elections, brought out a victory processionin the area and the processionists allegedly burst crackers in front of Mondal’s house who protested, the official said.

LIVE : KMC election results: Outgoing mayor Sovan Chaterjee wins in ward 131

Apart from Kolkata, in the other 91 municipal corporations, TMC is leading in 50 wards, Left in 5, Congress in 5. 6 wards are heading for a hung verdict according to latest information

Indian voters wait in a queue to cast their vote at a polling station in Madhyamgram area, on the outskirts of Kolkata on April 25, 2015

AFP
Outgoing mayor of Kolkata, Sovan Chatterjee was declared a winner from ward number 131 of Kolkata Municipal Corporation in the first hour of vote counting on Tuesday.However, the outgoing mayor Farzana Alam is trailing in ward 63 of Kolkata Municipal Corporation.Out of the total 144 wards of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation, Trinamool Congress is leading in 70 wards, CPM is leading in 12 wards, BJP is leading 12 wards and Congress is leading 8 wards after two rounds of counting.In ward number 6 of Kachrapara Municipality, former Trinamool Congress general secretary Mukul Roy’s son Subhrangshu Roy was declared a winner.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Meanwhile, the Trinamool Congress has won the civic polls in Kanthi, Tamluk, Baruipur, Malbazar Municipalities.In Katwa, out of total 20 wards, Trinamool Congress won in 10 wards while CPM won in 10 wards.Murshidabad and Kaliaganj Municipality has been won by Congress.Tahirpur and Jangipur Municipality has been won by CPM.The third round of counting is going on across the state.Apart from Kolkata, in the other 91 municipal corporations, TMC is leading in 50 wards, Left in 5, Congress in 5. 6 wards are heading for a hung verdict according to latest information

Out-of-favour Mukul Roy loyalist backs TMC leadership

A Trinamool Congress MLA, close to out-of-favour senior party leader Mukul Roy, backed the party leadership on Friday amid a deepening divide between Roy and party supremo Mamata Banerje, saying “if there are small stones in rice, they should be separated”.

A Trinamool Congress MLA, close to out-of-favour senior party leader Mukul Roy, backed the party leadership on Friday amid a deepening divide between Roy and party supremo Mamata Banerje, saying “if there are small stones in rice, they should be separated”.”There can be two or four small stones in rice. Remove them (stones), but don’t throw away the rice,” was what TMC MLA Sabyasachi Dutta said apparently referring to dissidents.Dutta was seen taking part in a Holi celebration with state Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim, a Mamata Banerjee loyalist. Dutta had recently ruffled party feathers by saying in Bengali “jekhaney dhonwa othey, kothao ektu aagun toh thakbeyi” (there can’t be smoke without fire), insinuating at the involvement of those summoned or arrested by the CBI in the Saradha scam.Hakim’s celebrating Holi with Dutta at a programme is seen as an attempt to woo back the Roy aide who had been shorn of certain responsibilities.While former minister Humayun Kabir was shown the door a day after he slammed Mamata Banerjee, Dutta, who recently put the party in a spot by welcoming the CBI’s Saradha probe, was given pride of place in the room where the Chief Minister was present.Dutta, the Rajarhat-New Town MLA, spent close to 30 minutes with Banerjee in her Assembly chamber along with other Trinamool leaders, journalists and given a place close to her during a photo-op on February 26. However, Mamata had recently removed Dutta as the party observer for Tripura last month.Dutta is among a handful of Trinamool MLAs who have been publicly seen with then party all-India general secretary Roy since his apparent fall-out with Mamata. The other MLAs are Siuli Saha and Silabhadra Dutta.Recently Silabhadra Dutta was removed as parliamentary secretary apparently because he went to Delhi and met Roy. Another rebel MLA, Swapan Ghosh, was suspended from the party on February 25 for staging a dharna on the Assembly premises.Mamata Banerjee recently trimmed the wings of Mukul Roy, who was recently interrogated by the CBI in connection with the Saradha scam, by removing him from the post of party all-India general secretary and also from the post of leader of the parliamentary party in Rajya Sabha.

Saradha Scam case: CBI summons TMC General Secretary Mukul Roy for questioning

In a major blow to the Trinamool Congress, the CBI on Monday summoned party’s all India general secretary Mukul Roy in connection with the multi-crore Saradha scam.According to the sources in the agency, the central agency sent the notice through an e-mail to Roy, a close aid of Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee and has asked to appear before it this week. Later, the agency informed Roy over the phone.Sources also said that after examining call records of Saradha boss Sudipta Sen they have found that he had frequent telephonic conversations with Roy.Sen said in his statement given to CBI that he had reportedly met Roy at Nizam Palace in April 2013 before he fled Kolkata. Suspended Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha MP Kunal Ghosh has repeatedly made the claim. Later, Saradha employee Arvind Singh Chauhan, who also drove Sen’s car had claimed that such a meeting took place.The CBI is likely to quiz him on his alleged involvement in the functioning of the Bengali daily Kolom. Recently pictures of Roy at Kolom’s office had surfaced.Two Rajya Sabha MPs – Kunal Ghosh and Srinjoy Bose – and the party vice-president Rajat Majumdar of the Trinamool Congress and state sports minister Madan Mitra are behind the bars for their involvement in the Saradha scam.Earlier, Mukul Roy had said he would quit politics if the party’s link with Saradha ponzi scheme scam is proved. We (TMC) are neither thieves nor frauds. If our party’s involvement is proved under any circumstances, I will quit politics.

Attacker of Abhishek Banerjee shifted to Kolkata hospital

A man, who slapped Mamata Banerjee’s nephew and TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee, was on Thursday shifted to SSKM Hospital in Kolkata. Debasish Acharya was admitted to Tamluk Hospital after being thrashed by Trinamool Congress workers during a rally last Sunday in East Midnapore district’s Chandipur. SSKM director Pradip Mitra said he was admitted to the rheumatology department and his medical tests would be done tomorrow. “He is suffering from multiple injuries on his body,” he told reporters.

Abhisek Banerjee slapgate incident: Was the attacker an RSS sympathiser?

A day after Debasish Acharya slapped Mamata Banerjee’s nephew and Lok Sabha MP Abhishek Banerjee, the Bengal police have claimed he is an ‘RSS supporter’. However, doubts can be raised over police’s claims of Acharya’s links with the RSS.Till a day ago, Acharya was being identified as a Trinamool Congress supporter and speculations were rife that he was a supporter of Trinamool leader Suvendu Adhikari, the party MP from Midnapore’s Tamluk. However, Adhikari had dismissed all such allegations.According to sleuths, Acharya had attended an ABVP (youth wing of BJP) meeting on January 2 and spent a substantial amount of time at Baba Ramdev’s ashram in Haridwar. Acharya had even put up at a rented house in Contai, whose landlord is an RSS sympathiser. Interestingly, hours after he regained consciousness at the hospital after he was nearly lynched by Trinamool Congress supporters, he said, “I am Khudiram’s spirit. I will be reborn. Goodbye Indians. I will come back to serve the Hindu dharma.””Preliminary examination reveals that he has an ABVP background. He has claimed that he has served the district chief of ABVP for several months. The information is subject to verification and we are yet to ascertain the motive behind such a move by him,” said Superintendant of Police, East Midnapore, Sukesh Jain, after he interrogated Acharya at the Tamluk Zilla hospital.While TMC maintained that Acharya was an ‘outsider’, opposition parties cried foul.State Congress chief Adhir Chowdhury termed the entire slapgate incident as ‘got up’. “It’s nothing but the internal conflict of the party that is surfacing. It’s got-up. If the person is not of their party, then how could he manage to get up on the dais amid a meeting when the party MP was delivering a speech? The attacker is very much a TMC worker and this is a result of their factional feud. This will eat up the party like a Frankenstein.””Just because he has made a comment that links to Hindutva ideologies and lives in a rented house, where the landlord is a RSS supporter does not mean that he is a RSS supporter. This is a conspiracy of the Trinamool Congress to malign the BJP,” BJP general secretary, Ritesh Tiwari said.Meanwhile, doubts remain over whose side Debasish Acharya really is on.

Trinamool Congress activist’s body found, 3 held for murder

File Photo

Body of a local Trinamool Congress activist, who had protested against sale of drug in the area, was found in the outskirts of Siliguri on Monday triggering protest by mob and arrest of three accused. Commissioner of Police, Siliguri Commisionerate, Jagmohan said, “We have arrested three persons in connection with the death of Dipankar Roy on the basis of FIR lodged by his family members.” North Bengal Development Minister Goutam Dev claimed Roy was an active member of TMC and had lodged a police complaint naming some persons three days back against alleged sale of contraband in Bhaktinagar area of the city. Local opposition parties alleged the three arrested also belonged to the TMC. The discovery of the youth’s body, on the side of river Teesta in Nimbu Basti forest area this morning, angered local residents and they demonstrated in protest demanding punishment of those involved, the minister said. His family told the media that matters came to head when the deceased youth had filed FIR against Ganesh Chhetri, Krishna Chhetri, Mithun Ray, Mankumar Ray as involved in drug sale in the area three days back and Roy had been receiving threats ever since. The four named in FIR visited his residence and had asked him to accompany them late Sunday night and his mutilated body was discovered Monday morning, the family said in the FIR at Bhaktinagar police station. The CP refused to elaborate who among the four were already behind bars. The mob also ransacked the houses of one of the four accused and set fire to shanties owned by them along Hill Cart Road before a strong police contingent brought the situation under control. Also Read: Assault on Abhishek Banerjee ‘disgrace’ to nation, says Trinamool Congress spokesperson Derek O’ Brien

Assault on Abhishek Banerjee ‘disgrace’ to nation, says Trinamool Congress spokesperson Derek O’ Brien

Banerjee, who is the president of the youth wing of the Trinamool Congress (TMC), was slapped by a youth on Sunday while addressing a rally in East Midnapore District.

Trinamool spokesperson Derek O’ Brien

The Trinamool Congress on Monday condemned the assault on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee as a ‘disgrace’ not only to politics but also to the nation. “Yesterday’s nasty incident was a disgrace not only to politics but also to the nation,” TMC spokesperson Derek O’Brien said at a press conference.Also Read: Incident of slapping of TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee a result of Trinamool internal feudEarlier on Monday, the labour wing of the Trinamool Congress, the Indian National Trinamool Trade Union Congress (INTTUC), staged a protest against the assault on Abhishek. The protestors chanted slogans, and held the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) responsible for the attack. Banerjee, who is the president of the youth wing of the Trinamool Congress (TMC), was slapped by a youth on Sunday while addressing a rally in East Midnapore District.

TMC cautions MP Idris Ali for his West Bengal will burn comment

Trinamool Congress leadership on Thursday cautioned party MP Idris Ali for his recent comment that Bengal would burn if Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was arrested by the CBI in connection with the Saradha chit fund scam, asking him to refrain from airing such observations.”The party does not support the comment made by Idris Ali. He has been asked to refrain from making such kind of comments,” the TMC secretary-general and state education minister Partha Chatterjee told reporters.Ali was summoned to the party headquarters here and was cautioned against making such comments. On December 30, Ali had said at a meeting at Sandeshkali in North 24-Parganas district, “Mamata Banerjee is not only the ‘agnikanya’ of West Bengal, but of India also. If she is touched or arrested then Bengal will be on fire. In that fire lot of people will die.”Asserting that even Prime Minister Narendra Modi cannot handle the ‘agnikanya’ of West Bengal, he had said that it was not a small thing that Trinamool got so many seats in the last Lok Sabha polls. The MP went on to claim in his speech that neither the Trinamool Congress nor Banerjee had any role in the Saradha scam. West Bengal transport minister Madan Mitra and two party MPs Kunal Ghosh and Srinjoy Bose have been arrested by the CBI in the multi-crore chit-fund scam.