Kolkata: Even after more than a decade, the book by a former civil servant and legislator released in 2012 continues to trouble West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her party Trinamool Congress (TMC).
this book “Mamata Banerjee as I have known” It was written by former IAS officer and two-time MLA Deepak Kumar Ghosh, who has included several Right to Information (RTI) applications, news clippings and copies of official correspondence to back up his claims and allegations about TMC chief Mamata. is attached.
Last week, during the heated debate between Congress and TMC, this book was once again in the headlines. At the center of this allegation was Bengal Congress spokesperson Kaustav Bagchi, who cited this book to target the Trinamool government during a debate on a TV news channel. Bagchi was arrested on charges of making ‘derogatory remarks’ against the CM, but was released on bail the same day.
However, this is not the first time that Mamata’s political opponents have cited Deepak Kumar Ghosh’s book to target the three-time chief minister. During the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Tathagata Roy, leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the then candidate from Kolkata South, cited the book in response to Mamata’s comments against the then prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, during the campaign. .
On the claims made in the book, TMC spokesperson Jai Prakash Majumdar told ThePrint on Tuesday that it lacks credible evidence and has been written only with an intention to malign it. He insisted, “The West Bengal government believes in freedom of expression and that is why the book has not been banned, even though the claims made in it are baseless.”
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What claims did Ghosh make about Mamata
Although Ghosh has made several allegations against Mamata personally, there is no concrete evidence in the book except news clippings and RTI applications filed by the author.
Ghosh was part of the West Bengal administration for 37 years as an IAS officer before joining the Congress for two years and then with the Trinamool Congress for 13 years. In his 21-chapter book, he has written extensively about his association with Mamata Banerjee, a Union Minister and then Chief Minister of West Bengal, her personal life and her working style and policies.
Ghosh claims that the TMC chief was eating chocolates and sandwiches during her 25-day hunger strike in 2006 to protest against ‘forcible’ land acquisition in Singur for the Tata Nano plant.
He has written in the book, “What did Mamta do in fasting for so many record days? For the first 2/3 days she took little lemonade, glucose water etc., but, after Sonali (former TMC MLA Sonali Guha) disappeared from the scene, she used to eat 4-5 chicken/paneer sandwiches and fish fingers, which were her PA Gautam Basu—who passed away in 2008—used to bring them secretly. It all came courtesy of Derek O’Brien from the Dalhousie Institute in Jhotala.
Ghosh has also accused him of taking undue advantage of the Home Department portfolio in 2012.
He writes, “When one of his nephews was arrested for beating up a traffic police officer, cabinet minister Firhad Hakim ordered the chief minister’s nephew to be released immediately. Later, when the press and TV channels became very active, he was arrested again. The police invoked such bailable sections of the IPC that the judicial magistrate released him on bail the same day.
In another instance, Ghosh claims that while forming her first cabinet in 2011, Mamata “gave no consideration to merit, experience and party loyalty” but “picked ministers arbitrarily”.
Ghosh writes, “For example, how the government sent an official letter to the late Kashinath Mishra, MLA from Bankura. They also reached the Raj Bhavan. But, at the last moment, he was told that Shyampad Mukherjee of Bishnupur has been made a minister in his place. Kashi Babu was an experienced legislator. He had joined the party at the very beginning. While talking to the author, Kashi Babu wept remembering that incident.
Ghosh also recounts the time when he contested the assembly elections in 2006 on a TMC ticket from the coveted Jadavpur seat, but lost to former CM and senior CPI(M) leader Buddhadeb Bhattacharya. According to Ghosh, at that time he wanted to quit politics and discussed it with Mamata, who asked him to stay with the party and contest the 2009 Lok Sabha elections again from Jadavpur.
However, Ghosh claims that the party sidelined him in 2009 and fielded Kabir Suman from Jadavpur. In the book, he writes, “She (Mamata) betrayed him (the book author) after Singur and Nandigram when Kabir Suman became very close to her with his guitar and soulful songs and her erstwhile well-wishers like Mahashweta Devi It was strongly recommended to field Suman from the Jadavpur seat.
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‘If I start distributing this book…’
“I will give the Chief Minister sleepless nights,” quipped 32-year-old advocate Kaustav Bagchi as he walked out of Kolkata’s Bankshall Court after being granted conditional bail on Saturday evening. I will shave my head and remain like this until I depose the Chief Minister.
Nine hours earlier, a Kolkata Police team had reached Barrackpore residence of TMC supporter Sumit Singh to arrest him in connection with a complaint lodged against the Congress spokesperson at Bartola police station. The complainant alleged that Bagchi had made ‘derogatory remarks’ against Mamta during a debate on a news channel.
Bagchi was booked under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 153 (provocation with intent to cause riot), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 505 (act prejudicial to the state or the public) A case was registered under sections 506 (criminal intimidation), 509 (insulting woman) and 354A (sexual harassment) etc.
Bagchi’s statement comes after Mamata’s recent comment which she made soon after the TMC lost to the Congress in the Sagardighi seat bypoll.
Reacting to statements made by West Bengal Congress chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary after snatching the seat from TMC, which had been winning in Sagardighi since 2011, Mamata had said on March 2, “He (Chowdhary) should make big statements today.” are. If I ask him about his daughter’s suicide, will he be able to answer?”
During a TV news channel debate, when Bagchi was asked to react to Mamata Banerjee’s remarks, he referred to Ghosh’s book on the TMC chief’s life. The Congress spokesperson said, “If I start distributing this book from neighborhood to neighborhood, Mamta Banerjee will not be able to show her face anywhere. Her personal life, her life before marriage, and how low she can stoop, all this will be well known to the people of Bengal.
(Translation: Ravi Dwivedi | Editing: Falguni Sharma)
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