Trinamul district chief in Birbhum Anubrata Mondal was stumped by a party colleague on Wednesday with his plainspeak when the latter during a public meeting said that a road was better in his area during the Left regime.
The Birbhum strongman had convened a meeting with the booth committee members of Suri II block areas in Purandarpur village on Wednesday.
During the meeting, he asked why the party had lagged behind the BJP in two booths of Majhigram village under Damdama gram panchayat.
Ganesh Roy, acting booth committee president, stood up with a microphone, blaming the poor condition of the 4km long mud road from Majhigram to Hatora. “The road is very bad and no one can even cycle along this stretch... The local people have lost faith in the party due to that road only,” said Roy, adding that a young man had asked him whether villagers should start fishing in the flooded road.
A rattled Mondal tried to deflect the criticism by comparing the Trinamul regime with that of the Left. “Weren't they fishing in the road during the Left rule?" asked Mondal. The local leader replied: “During that time (Left’s tenure), it was possible at least to ride a cycle through the stretch. But now that’s not possible.”
“You mean, the road was better in the Left regime?” Mondal asked. Pat came the reply: “Yes, the road was better.”
Such plainspeak was clearly difficult for Mondal to digest, who reeled off all schemes like Kanyashree, Yuvashree and rice at Rs 2 a kg that the Mamata Banerjee government had rolled out after coming to power. “What else do you want?" Mondal asked. Roy said: “Yes, we got the benefits of all these schemes... But we need roads, well-lit lamp posts..”
Mondal, aware that the interaction was getting recorded, finally lost his cool. “We don’'t need people like you... You could have said that Mamata Banerjee did a lot, but people in our village demand a proper road,” he said before asking his followers to immediately remove Roy from the booth committee. As Roy’s followers started leaving the venue, party district vice-president Abhijit Sinha calmed them down. Later, Mondal said: “It was a small misunderstanding. The road has been sanctioned. We will build it.”