Keep distance, party tells Wilson

Kalchini MLA advised to stay away from party and government events

By OUR BUREAU
  • Published 25.06.15
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Wilson Champramary

June 24: Trinamul insiders in Alipurduar today said district president Sourav Chakraborty had asked MLA Wilson Champramary to stay away from government and party events.

The move, party sources said, is because the infamy that the Kalchini MLA has earned in the past few days after abusing government officials and for being named in a central note on sandalwood smuggling.

"First of all, the video showing him uttering abuses at senior officials of the district administration went viral. The issue was enough to make us uncomfortable. Again, it was reported in the media today that his name has been mentioned in a note sent by the Union home ministry to the state mentioning his involvement in sandalwood smuggling," a Trinamul source said.

"These two developments prompted our district president to sit with some other senior leaders at a meeting in Alipurduar today. At the meeting, it was decided that Wilson would be told to stay away from government events as well as programmes convened by the party for some time," the source added.

Since the video - in which the MLA was seen uttering filthy words while referring to top administrative officials including the district magistrate - went viral, district Trinamul leaders and even the Trinamul MPs of Alipurduar and Jalpaiguri have termed it "undesirable".

"However, as the second development has come up, it is natural that party leaders would prefer to distance themselves from the MLA. Hurling abuses is not a minor offence, but the charge of being involved in sandalwood smuggling is very serious," a senior Trinamul leader in Jalpaiguri said.

The video, shot on June 11, showed Wilson shouting into his phone at a government official and threatening that he would burn the BDO and the SDO's offices. He then proceeded to call the district magistrate names.

While the MLA ranted, a crowd of people at Jaigaon in Alipurduar listened to him. When he finished, they clapped.

Wilson later said he had been upset as people had told him houses were demolished by district officials in Jaigaon. But the district officials said no house had been demolished, but a wall erected by illegal encroachers on government land was brought down.

Trinamul initially seemed cagey to give a reaction as senior leader Partha Chatterjee said he had not sought any explanation from Wison.

Party general secretary Subrata Bakshi yesterday said that as the district magistrate had not complained, the party could not proceed against the MLA on the basis of media reports.

After newspaper reports of Wilson's link to the sandalwood mafia, the party felt the need to distance itself.

The Kalchini MLA today could not be contacted over phone despite repeated attempts. He had said yesterday that he was in Calcutta to meet Chatterjee, Bakshi and several other Trinamul senior leaders.

Chakraborty, who had asserted that the party disapproved of the remarks made by Wilson, today said the MLA will have to explain himself.

"Wilson Champramary will have to clarify his status. The issues are not related to our party or are political and we prefer not to comment on them. Our state leaders are aware and are looking into the issue," Chakraborty said today.

"However, we suspect that it might be a conspiracy of the BJP which is in power at the Centre, to try and taint our party," he added.

According to him, Wilson was in Calcutta where his father is under treatment. "He is yet to meet our state leaders," the district Trinamul president said.

Sources in Alipurduar have also revealed that when Wilson was inducted into Trinamul by Mukul Roy back in 2013, a section of party leaders in Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar, who had information about the MLA's dealings, had cautioned state leaders.

"The caution, however, was overlooked as the state leaders wanted to bring him in in a bid to counter the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (in the Dooars and Terai)," the source said.

Senior forest officials said Madhya Satali, the area in Kalchini block of Alipurduar district where the MLA resides, has become a safe haven for smugglers of animal parts and poachers.

"We have specific information that most of the smugglers dealing in animal parts and even poachers from the Northeast take shelter in Madhya Satali and its adjoining areas," a forester said. "Earlier, some raids were conducted by police and forest staff and there had been some arrests and seizures," the official said.