Is Trinamool distancing itself from Anubrata?
Kolkata, May 4 (IANS) Is Trinamool Congress leadership slowly distancing itself from party's strongman Anubrata Mandal over his successive dodging of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the cattle and coal smuggling cases in West Bengal.
Maverik Trinamool Congress leader and party legislator from Kamarahati Assembly constituency in North 24 Parganas district Madan Mitra is the latest party insider to ridicule this "hide and seeka game. According to Mitra, Anubrata Mandal should face the CBI questioning just as the party's national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee and his wife Rujira Narula Banerjee faced the questioning by different central agencies.
"It is strange that Anubrata Mandal becomes sick whenever CBI comes. At the same time, CBI also comes only when Anubrata Mandal is sick. Previously Abhishek Banerjee and his wife Rujira Banerjee faced CBI. Anubrata Mandal also should face CBI," Mandal Mitra said.
Mitra is not the first Trinamool Congress insider to take jibes at Anubrata Mandal, the party's Birbhum district president, dodging the CBI questioning. Earlier, the party's state general secretary and spokesman, Kunal Ghosh questioned Mandal's dodging of CBI questioning.
"Previously I have faced questioning from several state and state probe agencies. But I never avoided the questioning. On the contrary, I turned up at the office of the agency concerned about five minutes before the scheduled time. Even our national general secretary, Abhishek Banerjee faced the central agencies head high," Ghosh said last month.
Recently, State Finance Minister Chandrima Bhattacharya too gave a subtle hint on this count. "This is an internal judicial matter between CBI and Anubrata Mandal," she said.
Mandal has ignored seven summons from CBI. On April 6, he was admitted to the state-run SSKM Medical College & Hospital, where he spent 17 days. He returned to his Kolkata residence from hospital on April 22. After his release from the hospital, he received two summons for appearance at the CBI office. But he avoided both the summons on health grounds and cited the prescription of the medical board of SSKM Medical College & Hospital advising him four weeks of bed rest.
Meanwhile, he had also set conditions to CBI for his appearance for questioning. He said that he would be able to appear for questioning only after May 21, 2022. He also said that the place of questioning should be decided over mutual discussions.