BJP opens new front against TMC in West Bengal
New Delhi, June 26: The West Bengal unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has opened a new front against ruling Trinamool Congress.
According to sources, it is fuelling anti-cut money protests in the State.
The move is aimed at further weakening TMC, whose leaders are allegedly involved in taking commission from people to get their work done.
Trilochan Mukherjee, a TMC booth president of Chatra village under Koma gram panchayat in Suri II block, returned to each of the villagers about ₹1600-1,700 that he had allegedly taken as "cut money" from Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) payments.
According to the sources, a local BJP leader had led the protests in front of Mukherjee's home. BJP state president Dilip Ghosh said this is just the beginning and many senior TMC Ministers and leaders will also return cut money to people.
After sensing BJP 's move, TMC chief Mamata Banerjee asked party leaders to return illegal commissions, or "cut money" taken from people.
The issue of cut money was highlighted across India by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Addressing a rally in Durgapur in February, Prime Minister Modi said, "Every child knows that there is a thing called triple T in Bengal - Trinamool Tolabaji Tax." Tolabaji is colloquial Bengali for extortion.
According to sources, Local TMC Councillors and petty TMC leaders have been involved in extortion from public.
A percentage of extorted money also reaches to the party high command, says a source.
In 2016, TMC Councillor Anindya Chattopadhyay of Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation was arrested for demanding a huge amount of money from a woman, who wanted to construct her house in Salt Lake area.
A scribe tells OneIndia that after the Lok Sabha results, Mamata Banerjee has asked party leaders to improve their image in public.
Woes of Banerjee have increased after the BJP inflicted a massive blow to her by winning 18 of the 42 parliamentary constituencies. The TMC won 22 seats. In the 2014 general elections, the Banerjee-led TMC had won 34 seats and the BJP 02.
To make the matters worse, many TM leaders have joined the BJP, which has set a target of winning next Assembly elections.
West Bengal will go to the polls in 2021, when the Mamata Banerjee government completes its tenure, the second consecutive one for the TMC since 2011, when the 34-year Left Front rule came to an end.