Mamata’s backing lifts Anubrata’s ‘confidence’ in custody 

Trinamool Congress leader Anubrata Mondal visits a hospital for medical check-up after being arrested by CBI in connection with a cow smuggling case, in Kolkata on August 12.

Trinamool Congress leader Anubrata Mondal visits a hospital for medical check-up after being arrested by CBI in connection with a cow smuggling case, in Kolkata on August 12. | Photo Credit: PTI

A day after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee put her weight behind arrested party leader Anubrata Mondal, lawyers representing the Trinamool Congress strongman who met the leader on August 15 said that such support has helped lift his confidence.

“I knew that Didi (Ms. Banerjee) will back me. She knows that I am innocent,” Mr. Mondal’s lawyers quoted him as saying. Anirban Guha Thakurta, the advocate who met the TMC leader at Nizam Palace in Kolkata on August 15 said that his client’s confidence has been lifted after the backing of the party’s chairperson.

Also read: Cattle smuggling case: Trinamool leader’s property attached

Anubrata Mondal was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with cattle smuggling scam on August 11 and will remain in custody till August 20.

Ms. Banerjee on August 14 had defended her party’s Birbhum district president. “Why did you arrest Kesto (Mr. Mondal). What has he done?” Ms. Banerjee had said on August 14, adding that if the Central agencies arrest one such person, then lakhs of such persons will emerge.  

Speaking at a public gathering, the TMC chairperson asked her supporters, “If tomorrow the agencies reach my house, what will you do?” Will you go hit the streets in protests?” 

Hitting out at the BJP government at the Centre, she had alleged that BJP was trying to break non-NDA governments in states. She said attempts to destabilise the government in Jharkhand were prevented by her police. Recently the West Bengal Police arrested three Jharkhand MLAs with about ₹49 lakh cash.

Opposing stand

The Chief Minister’s very public backing has raised questions about the development in the political circles. After Mr. Mondal’s arrest the TMC has been hesitant to support him with the party’s spokesperson saying that they have “zero tolerance towards corruption”.

Recently, the TMC leadership has dumped former Trinamool Congress heavyweight Partha Chatterjee and stripped him off his ministerial and party responsibilities. Mr. Chatterjee was arrested by Enforcement Directorate (ED) on July 23 in connection with a School Service Commission recruitment scam. 

Leaders of opposition parties like State Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury wondered why Ms. Banerjee is supporting Mr. Mondal but dumped Mr. Chatterjee. Political observers feel that Ms. Banerjee’s support for Mr. Mondal, a deft party organiser, is an attempt to boost the party’s morale that has taken a hit after the two arrests. Also, the TMC leadership is gearing up for panchayat polls in the State scheduled in 2023.

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Printable version | Aug 16, 2022 3:29:59 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/mamatas-backing-lifts-anubratas-confidence-in-custody/article65771653.ece