Bengal polls: Why nobody is talking about TMC's Upen Biswas, the man who nailed Lalu?
A lot is being said and heard about 'corrupt' Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders in this election. Starting from the Saradha chit-fund scam to the Narada sting operation to the syndicate that functions in the state, the TMC has been accused of harbouring leaders who have been accused of doing everything in the open.
But a very little is being said about Upendra Nath Biswas, 75, currently the backward communities' development minister in Bengal and the former additional director of the CBI, India's premier investigating agency, who made the headlines after nailing former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad in the Rs 950-crore fodder scam in the 1990s. He retired in January 2002. [This Bengal poll is a Bhodrolok vs 'Chhotolok' contest]
A Buddhist caste historian, Biswas contested the 2011 West Bengal Assembly election, the first one in his life, as a Trinamool Congress (TMC) candidate and won it by over 20,000 votes. It was an election which was an "experiment with honesty" since the TMC's quest to topple the 34-year-old Left rule was powered by its chief Mamata Banerjee's reputation as an honest leader. [2011 results in 25 phase 6 seats]
Ahead of that historic election, Biswas had said that all his election expenses were borne by the people of his constituency---Bagda in North 24 Parganas---once a stronghold of the Forward Bloc.
Biswas had also said then the people of Bagda wanted to elect somebody who was honest, transparent and accountable to the people. And Biswas was the best option they had.
The local people donated for his election fund and he even received personal donation of up to Rs 30,000. Biswas, who had taken the initiative to keep the donation process transparent, said he had failed fighting the murky world of politics as a policeman and would like to do it as a politician.
How much clean-up could Biswas do in the last 5 years?
How much successful has Biswas been in the last five years in this pursuit? His own party has found itself getting buried more into the filth and even the party supremo's infallible image of honesty has been under threat, thanks to the unfading allegations of corruption and other irregularities against top leaders of the TMC. Speaking to Oneindia, Biswas said: "It's a great thing that I have survived five years." That says it all, isn't it?
Mamata's hobnobbing with Lalu must have been a blow for Biswas
Even last year, Mamata Banerjee was seen openly congratulating the winning duo of Lalu Prasad and Nitish Kumar after the old foes came together to defeat Narendra Modi's BJP in the Bihar Assembly elections.
If AAP leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was criticised for embracing Lalu Prasad, a convicted politician, then Banerjee also deserves to face questions on siding with both Lalu Prasad and Upendra Nath Biswas.
Biswas advised his party colleagues accused in Saradha to speak the truth
In January last year, Biswas also said in an interview that he would advise all those in his party who are facing the CBI probe in connection to the Saradha chit-fund scam should tell the truth. He did not want to comment when asked whether he supported the TMC's charges that the CBI was targeting the party. That's the tragedy of people like Upendra Nath Biswas.
It is often said that Banerjee is the only asset that the TMC has. But not many give a thought to personalities like Upendra Nath Biswas, who is contesting from the same seat again this year [Bengal poll phase 4: Final turnout 81.25%]. Like many other faces in the TMC who remain hidden despite their genuine wills to do good, Biswas also remains buried in the chaos that has engulfed the TMC because of all the wrong reasons.