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Mukul sermon on syndicates

Calcutta, June 12: Trinamul all-India general secretary Mukul Roy today told party leaders in Rajarhat-New Town that any involvement with groups that supply construction materials would be considered as an “act of treason”, sources said.

Roy said after the meeting that Trinamul was not involved in the syndicates — the word used to describe the groups that control the supply of the materials.

Barasat MP Kakali Ghosh Dastidar and Rajarhat-New Town MLA Sabyasachi Dutta were among those who attended the meeting. Rajarhat-New Town falls in the Barasat Lok Sabha constituency.

The meeting came against the backdrop of a series of clashes over control of the building materials-supply business in New Town, where several real estate projects are coming up.

The clashes have been attributed to factions owing allegiance to two politicians.

“The two were told by Mukul and Bobby (urban development minister Firhad Hakim) today that involvement in syndicates would be considered as an anti-party activity and an act of treason. If there is any participation, direct or indirect, disciplinary action will be taken,” said a source.

The 30-minute meeting was held in food minister Jyotipriya Mullick’s Assembly chamber. Kakali and Dutta refused comment on what transpired at the meeting.

The meeting was also attended by Bidhannagar municipality chairperson Krishna Chakraborty, Bidhannagar MLA Sujit Bose and housing minister Aroop Biswas.

“The meeting was held at the chief minister’s behest. Roy, Hakim, Biswas and Mullick had been told to instruct the two leaders to do everything in their capacity to prevent such incidents (clashes) from recurring,” a source said.

“The names of the party or its leaders must not keep cropping up in law-and-order problems happening because of turf wars between syndicates. This is hurting the party’s image,” he added.

On Sunday, police had arrested 22 people for suspected involvement in a clash between the two groups the day before. Yesterday, a Trinamul office in New Town was set ablaze in what was seen as a retributive attack.

In the past three years, Mamata Banerjee has warned party leaders and workers at several forums against involvement in syndicates.

Sources in the home department said Mamata today chided Bidhannagar police commissioner Rajeev Kumar over the syndicate trouble in New Town. “Kumar was told to take steps to curb the problem,” an official said.

After today’s meeting, Trinamul leader Roy said the party was not connected with syndicates. “Trinamul is in no way connected with syndicates. Those who have given their land for the township are setting up these syndicates. The party is not going to tolerate any involvement of leaders or activists in such activities,” Roy said.