MY KOLKATA EDUGRAPH
ADVERTISEMENT
regular-article-logo Wednesday, 17 April 2024
TMC portrays arrest as Mamata's dedication to rajdharma

Only Trinamul Congress walks the talk, says TMC leader Derek O’Brien

Trinamul fielded its state general secretary Kunal Ghosh — deemed widely a mouthpiece of Diamond Harbour MP Abhishek Banerjee — to claim credit for the arrest of Shahjahan on the eve of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Arambagh rally

Meghdeep Bhattacharyya Calcutta Published 01.03.24, 09:40 AM
Derek O’Brien addresses the media in Calcutta on Thursday

Derek O’Brien addresses the media in Calcutta on Thursday

The Trinamul Congress spent Thursday trying its best to make a virtue out of its dire necessity of arresting Sandeshkhali strongman Sheikh Shahjahan and his six-year suspension from the party, lauding the Mamata Banerjee government’s dedication to rajdharma.

Early in the morning, Trinamul fielded its state general secretary Kunal Ghosh — deemed widely a mouthpiece of Diamond Harbour MP Abhishek Banerjee — to claim credit for the arrest of Shahjahan on the eve of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Arambagh rally.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We welcome the step by the police. Our national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee had drawn the attention of the judiciary that there was a part of a high court ruling that had kept the police administration’s hands tied. After Abhishek brought this to the fore, the high court withdrew the restriction and gave the police the go-ahead to do the needful,” said Ghosh.

After the high court had clarified on Monday that there was no bar on the police to arrest Shahjahan, the administration had no other option but to apprehend him at the earliest. But the ruling dispensation has been fervently trying to give it a spin, to own the narrative and claim victory for Abhishek. Ghosh — not even an elected representative from a gram panchayat, with no official link to the administration — had issued a seven-day deadline for the arrest of Shahjahan (seemingly disowned by Abhishek on Sunday).

“We always had full faith in the police administration. Therefore, we had expressed with optimism and confidence that this Shahjahan would soon be arrested, and that is exactly what happened,” said Ghosh on Thursday.

“Now, the state police did their duty…. The state police performed exemplarily well, under the supreme leadership of the chief minister and the generalship of Abhishek,” he added.

The chief minister, who did make a public appearance at a state government event in Jhargram and delivered an address, was conspicuous in her silence on Shahjahan – whom she had referred to directly at least twice this month (starting February 15 in the Assembly), besides making anonymous references on a few occasions, including on Wednesday.

“The tone of her references to Shahjahan had changed over the course of a fortnight, as she went from naming him and claiming he was being targeted and framed by the saffron camp, to not naming him and asserting her zero-tolerance against those who wrong the people,” said a Trinamul insider.

“Feedback from the ground, received from delegation after delegation of our leaders — sent by Abhishek — caused the shift,” he added.

Till late on Thursday evening, the Diamond Harbour MP had not issued a statement.

“The state government has performed rajdharma, and Shahjahan is too minor a leader for her (Mamata) to talk about (on Thursday),” said an MP.

Later in the day, Trinamul suspended Shahjahan from the party for six years, with immediate effect.

“There are two types of political parties. The first type, they just talk, talk, and talk some more. Trinamul is of the second type, it walks the talk,” said Trinamul’s leader in the Rajya Sabha Derek O’Brien.

Initially, there was a feeling in Trinamul that there could be attempts to shield Shahjahan, especially after the chief minister had accused the saffron camp of targeting him.

Follow us on:
ADVERTISEMENT