West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress Wednesday suspended legislator Swapan Kanti Ghosh on disciplinary grounds after he staged a protest outside the assembly accusing his party of misappropriation of funds.
“The party’s disciplinary committee has unanimously decided to suspend Ghosh forthwith pending inquiry by the party. Despite being repeatedly cautioned, he acted at the behest of other political parties and made allegations against his own party,” Trinamool secretary general Partha Chatterjee said.
Chatterjee, who heads the Trinamool disciplinary panel, said there were allegations against Ghosh himself which the party will probe. “It’s crystal clear that Ghosh indulged in the theatrics with a political motive and under provocation from other political parties. We have initiated a probe into allegations that are there against Ghosh,” said Chatterjee, refusing to divulge the accusations against the suspended lawmaker.
A legislator from Suri in Birbhum district, Ghosh staged a demonstration at the assembly premises alleging that the Trinamool-run Suri municipality siphoned off Rs.10.36 crore meant for central schemes including a drinking water project.
Ghosh said he had to resort to demonstration as his repeated letters to state urban development minister Firhad Hakim and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee over the issue failed to evoke any response. He claimed the municipality failed to account for Rs.5.28 crore meant for a drinking water project and Rs.5.08 crore meant for a slum development project under the JNNURM.
“I have written five times to Hakim, I also wrote to the chief minister, but none of them responded. For the last two and a half years, I have been raising the issue but in vain,” said Ghosh, who said he will be meeting Union Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu over the issue.
“Naidu has given me time and I will be meeting him next week. If I don’t get any response from him, then I will move the Calcutta high Court seeking redressal,” he said. Meanwhile, Hakim said he has ordered a probe by the Directorate of Local Bodies into Ghosh’s allegations and assured the projects will materialise soon.
Ghosh also alleged that he and his driver were manhandled by assembly marshals on the order of the speaker. “The speaker has set a bad precedent by ordering his marshals who manhandled me and my driver when we were distributing leaflets in support of our demands,” he said. Unperturbed by the suspension, Ghosh said he hoped to be expelled from the party.
“It would have been better if they had expelled me. There is no meaning of suspension. There are other members of the Trinamool who are said to be suspended but are still waiting for a formal intimation,” said Ghosh, reacting to his suspension. (IANS)