Political nicety made a rare appearance on Monday when senior Trinamool Congress leader and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Partha Chatterjee called on Abdur Rezzak Mollah, veteran MLA of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) convalescing in hospital here a day after being attacked allegedly by a leader and supporters of Mr. Chatterjee’s party.
It was on Sunday that Mr. Chatterjee’s colleague in the Mamata Banerjee government, Firhad Hakim, claiming that he was speaking for the Trinamool Congress, had said Mr. Mollah was putting up an act by getting himself admitted to the hospital.
Rebel Trinamool Congress MP Kabir Suman, who joined in the condemnation of Mr. Mollah’s attack and also paid the injured leader a visit, accused Mr. Hakim of “preaching violence” by contending that had Mr. Mollah been “actually” attacked in the Bhangar area of the State’s South 24 Parganas district by party supporters who had converged there, “he would not have gone to (the) hospital” (read there would have been no need for him to be taken to a hospital).
Governor M.K. Narayanan too was critical of the developments. “We do not subscribe to any attack on anyone including politicians,” he said when asked by journalists for his comments.
“It is a tragedy that seeks to pollute the political environment,” said senior MP of the Communist Party of India, Gurudas Dasgupta.
Biman Bose, chairman of the Left Front committee and the CPI (M)’s State Secretary, alleged that there was political pressure on the hospital authorities to release Mr. Mollah.
“Such a move is not unheard of…What is new is that what has been happening in State hospitals is now happening in a private hospital,” said Leader of the Opposition n the State Assembly, Surya Kanta Mishra, implying that the Trinamool Congress was behind it.
Left Front leaders rubbished the charge of Mr. Hakim that Mr. Mollah had precipitated the situation by visiting the Bhangar area to “incite trouble” at a time when the Trinamool Congress was holding a rally there. It was a case of “provocation” he had claimed.
“What provocation?” asked Mr. Mishra. “Mr. Mollah has been an MLA for 40 years now… Should he not go to his Assembly constituency where the party office (of the CPI-M) was burnt down and women were being attacked? What sort of a democracy is that where one does not have such a right?” he asked.
The State’s Labour Minister Purnendu Bose, however, wondered why Mr. Mollah “should go to another political party’s meeting.”
The Left Front leadership regretted that despite its demand, little had been done to arrest former Trinamool Congress MLA, Arabul Islam, who, Mr. Mollah claimed, had punched him on the face and had led the mob that attacked him in Sunday’s violence.
The South 24 Parganas district committee of the Left Front and the Left Front Legislative Party that has given the authorities a deadline of 48 hours for the arrest of the assailants will be staging a sit-in outside the office of the district’s superintendent of police on Tuesday noon if their demand is not met by then. “So far, there is little sign of that happening,” Mr. Mishra said.