Logo row hits Mamata's nephew

Logo row hits Mamata's nephew

On the surface it may seem like much ado over a logo, but an innocuous blue globe with the Bengali alphabet 'ba' embossed on it in fluorescent yellow has suddenly turned into a matter of slugfest between the West Bengal government and BJP leader Mukul Roy, who recently switched over to the saffron party from Trinamool Congress.

Addressing his first public rally last Friday after joining BJP, Roy had alleged that the Biswa Bangla logo, which the West Bengal government uses for official purposes and is also widely used by all state government departments, is registered under the name of Abhishek Banerjee, a Lok Sabha MP and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's nephew.

Roy has also alleged that Abhishek had approached the trademark registration authorities and has registered the Trinamool Congress' party electoral symbol - two flowers sticking out of grass - as his own. Roy went on to allege that Mamata's nephew has also secured the registration of Jago Bangla trademark, under which the Trinamool Congress publishes its mouthpiece.

Soon after Roy's allegations, the West Bengal government marshalled its two senior bureaucrats to counter the BJP leader's claims.

Created by Mamata

State Home Secretary Atri Bhattacharya said the Biswa Bangla logo was created by Mamata Banerjee and she had given it to the state government for its use.

"Any department of West Bengal government can use the Biswa Bangla logo as the chief minister has transferred all rights to the government. Hence, the logo can be used in events like film festivals or football tournaments or any other major gatherings as the new identity of the state is linked with the logo," Bhattacharya said.

Countering Roy's allegations that the Biswa Bangla Marketing Corporation is owned by Abhishek Banerjee, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Rajiva Sinha said, "The Corporation is not a private entity and is a 100 % government owned company. The paid up capital is fully financed by the Department of MSME and Textiles."

Sinha, however, said that Abhishek had indeed applied for registration of the Biswa Bangla logo, but had later withdrawn the application and that the brand and logo now belonged to the state government.

But, Roy has only upped his ante. He has shot a letter to both Bhattacharya and Sinha, accusing them of lying to the public, suppressing facts and allying themselves with political activities.
"In the Trademarks Journal published by the Trademarks Authority, Government of India, on 08.05.2017, the Biswa Bangla mark is shown as wholly owned by Shri Abhishek Banerjee, the nephew of Smt Mamata Banerjee, the chief minister of West Bengal. The application of the government of West Bengal is shown as pending/abandoned," Roy has written in his letter, which he has also copied to Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State for Department of Personnel and Training, seeking inquiry against the two bureaucrats under the All Indian Services Conduct Rules.

The globe matter snowballed into the legal alleys on Monday, when Trinamool Congress Youth president Abhishek Banerjee served a legal notice on Mukul Roy, demanding an apology from him within 48 hours for making false statements against him.

The MP from Diamond Harbour has also threatened to file criminal and civil defamation suits if Roy does not apologise.

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