The Telegraph
Wednesday , January 2 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
CIMA Gallary

‘You won’t get permission. The only issue is money. Nothing else’

Translated excerpts from the transcripts of the conversation on two days

Pyne: I went there three or four times

Reporter: I was not in Calcutta.

Pyne: Work is going on at your place. The **** (post of an elected representative) sent me.

Reporter: Is it so?

Pyne: Yes. I am the president of this ward. My name is Bablu Pyne.

Reporter: Which ward is this?

Pyne: 63 ward

Reporter: Since I heard you went there twice or thrice, I thought it would be appropriate for me to visit you once.

Pyne: There is no point. Police will go there. People from the corporation will go there. You will be harassed unnecessarily. So I thought we should speak first.

Reporter: Why are you bringing in the police and the corporation? Let us settle the matter between the two of us.

Pyne: I organise that big puja in front of the police station. Have you ever seen?

Pyne: I do that puja. (He gets up and pulls out a small bundle of vernacular newspapers from the top shelf. Unfolding, he shows his picture — a prominent politician is in a couple of them).

Reporter: Dada, actually we do not stay in the locality.

Pyne: Where is your office?

Reporter: On the eighth floor. The place you went looking for me.

Pyne (smiles): Went there many times.

Reporter: I was out of station.

Pyne: So you tell me what you want to do about that?

Bablu Pyne, who introduced himself as the president of the ward, speaks at what he said was the Trinamul Congress office on Shakespeare Sarani on December 28, 2012

Reporter: You suggest what I should do. Should I apply for permission?

Pyne: You decide if you want to apply for permission or speak to us. In fact, you won’t get the permission.

Reporter: There is a slight problem with both the options. If I try obtaining permission, they will not leave me.

Pyne: You will not get it.

Reporter: Is it so?

Pyne: There is a lot of jhamela. You will have to show the original plan. You will have to make an application for the permission. Till then, your work will be halted.

Reporter: If I follow the second option you suggested, your (the person holding post mentioned by Pyne earlier) will come and catch hold of me.

Pyne: No, no. **** (the person holding the post) is ours. From my party.

Reporter: Who is the (person)?

Pyne: ***** (Name).

Reporter: OK. See, there are elders I need to discuss the matter with. My uncle. You tell me what exactly we need to do? We have to stay in this area. Very soon we will be embarking on our new project for which I will definitely consult you. For this matter you tell me what should we do? Suggest something that will benefit both of us.

Pyne: Arre, paise ka mamla hai. Aur koi baat nahi. (The only issue is money. Nothing else.) Till now nobody knows about it. Otherwise, the police would have made your life hell.

Reporter: Yes. Since it is on the eighth floor, people do not know about it. We had to get the toilets made because our clients were having problems. The common toilets are not usable.

Pyne: Make the toilets, na. There is no problem. But do something so that both of us benefit from it. For how long have you been in that office?

Reporter: For a long time.

Pyne: Aap de dijiye…bees hazar rupiya de dijiye. (You give, give Rs 20,000.)

Reporter: Arre, aap aisa kijiyega to sharir se pura rakht nikal jayega. (All our blood will be sucked out.)

Pyne: Aap ko zyada kuch nahi bole hain. Corporation ka aadmi ko bhi dena hoga. (I have not asked for too much. The corporation people also have to be given.)

Reporter: OK. We will discuss about it. Of course, we will negotiate the amount. But whatever amount we decide upon, the (the person holding the elected post) will demand money separately.

Pyne: Woh koi baat nahi hai. (The person with the post) ko hum samjhenge. (That is not an issue. I will handle the person)

Pyne: I can make a concession for you. Pay after your work is over.

Reporter: I will give you before the work is over. Money is not a big thing.

Pyne: You need not be scared.

Reporter: By chance if you don’t pass on the money, (the person) will catch hold of me.

Pyne: No, (the elected person) will not. (The person) will not even go to you. Ek baat sun lijiye. Ek khassi ko do baar zaba nahi kiya jayega (Get one thing clear. The same goat cannot be sacrificed twice.)

Reporter: I understand. But people who have informed you can also inform the person. What if somebody from the corporation or the police station goes there. I am very scared.

Pyne: Hum bol raha hai koi nahi jayega aap ke paas (I am telling you no one will approach you.) For the last 15 days, only I have been going to your office. Has anybody else from my party gone there even once?

Reporter: Yes. Only you have visited.

Pyne: I left my phone number there. Tell me, somebody else went there? You complete your work. Neither am I leaving the place nor are you.

Reporter: Give some concession, please.

Pyne: You do your work without taking any tension. Nobody will go to you.

Reporter: What if someone from the corporation or the local police station comes to me. I will send him to you. I will tell them we have struck a deal.

Pyne: Koi nahi jayega aap ke pass (Nobody will go to you). I am giving you my word. I can give it to you in writing. I will tell my guys also. Neither will they go nor will they let anybody disturb you.

Reporter: I trust you. Let me speak to my uncle and cousins. I will finalise and get back to you. Since we have met, tell me something. We are planning to purchase a property on Collin Street. Is it in your ward?

Pyne: Yes.

Reporter: Guide me. What should we do?

Pyne: Just let me know. I will make you sit with the (person holding the elected post). What do you want to do there?

Reporter: We are purchasing an old building. We will demolish it.

Pyne: Is it on the road?

Reporter: It is in the interiors. On Collin Street.

Pyne: Speak to (the person holding the post). Sit with the person… who will tell you everything. You come to me. I will take you to the (person)… who will guide you in every way.

Reporter: How much does one have to pay the person for every square feet?

Pyne: I will take you to the person. We will talk it out there.

December 28

Reporter: I am bothering you again.

Pyne: It is fine.

Reporter: I spoke to my uncle. He is an old person. He said you are asking for too much. So if….

Pyne: I have not quoted a high amount. How far has the work progressed?

Reporter: It should be over in another week. We had stopped the work for a few days as we went out of the city.

Pyne: Did anybody (from my party) go to you?

Reporter: No.

Pyne: I told you nobody would go.

Reporter: That is why I have come to you. We have to stay together. We should develop a cordial relationship.

Pyne: Fine.

Reporter: So now tell me what we should do?

Pyne: You say. I have already quoted my amount.

Reporter: Uncle says 10 (instead of the Rs 20,000 asked for earlier).

Pyne: No, no.

Reporter: Please do not do like this. We will work together in future too.

Pyne: Aap pandrah kar dijiye. Aap ka bhi baat rakh lete hain. (Make it 15. I am taking into account your request, too.)

Reporter: Please settle for 10.

Pyne: Do not haggle like this. I have to give money to so many people. There are so many boys.

Reporter: Do you have to pay to the (person holding the elected post) also?

Pyne: That is my concern whoever I give money to. I have to give. I have to give to the corporation people also. If you pay so less and they do not get money, they will come and disturb you. Do you want that? Who will help you then?

Reporter: That is why I have come to you so that nobody disturbs me.

Pyne: If I am there, nobody will disturb you. Do something. Pay me next week after you have finished your work.

Reporter: Let my uncle return from Delhi. We will call you to our office and pay you. But please make some concession for us.

Pyne: You finish your work and then give. You pay me only. Pay to one person only.

Reporter: Bablu da, pls do not do like this. Take 10….

Pyne: Aap pandrah dijiye. Aap ko bahut kam bola hai. Pandrah dijiye na. (Give 15. I have asked to pay very little. Give 15, won’t you?)

Reporter: I will convey the message to my uncle. I will get him to you once he returns from Delhi.

Pyne: Do not come here. Call me there.

Reporter: That is also fine….

Pyne: Let me know when you start the other project.

Reporter: We too are looking forward to meet you.

Pyne: Just let me know. I will call **** (a party worker’s name) over. Do not speak to anybody there. Talk to him once he is here.