'Mamata aware of graft by party MLAs'

Rabindranath Bhattacharya, a Trinamool Congress MLA form Singur, on Wednesday alleged that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is aware of party cadres extorting money from the people.

“Mamata Banerjee said her party won't be involved in extortion. But cadres are extorting money from the people before my own eyes,” Bhattacharya, who was instrumental in orchestrating the uprising against land acquisition in Singur, told Deccan Herald.

“In my area, some leaders have taken money from candidates who applied for vacant posts in a school. They are taking cut money before me. This has pained me. I believe she (Banerjee) knows all this,” the septuagenarian leader, a retired headmaster of the Singur High School, said.

The remark came close on the heels of Banerjee asserting that she did not need “cut-money” for sustaining the party.

“The Trinamool Congress does not need money from the government. We will contest elections by raising money by selling my paintings,” Banerjee had said recently.

Bhattacharya had played a significant role in driving out the Tatas from Singur, which, according to political analysts, contributed immensely to the TMC’s success story.

However, Bhattacharya rebelled after Banerjee shunted him from the agriculture ministry to the statistics and programme implementation department last week.

In a damage control measure, Banerjee has shifted an administrative meeting in Hooghly district from Chinsurah to the block development office at Singur on November 30 and asked Bhattacharya to attend it. 

When asked whether he will continue with the party, Bhattacharya said: “I am still the Trinamool MLA of Singur. A time comes when a person needs to take a decision on some issues. I will think over these issues seriously and see how things go, before taking the final call.''

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