Former judge, ex-party leader now twin headaches for Trinamool before LS polls

Kolkata, March 10 (IANS) Both have been whistleblowers against corruption for quite some time though with a difference. While one was vocal against corruption from inside, the other was constantly trying to alert his own party leadership in taking the events of internal corruption seriously to avoid bigger backlash.

And now both have changed their fields. In the case of one it is professional and in case of the other it is political affiliation. Now both have decided to be more vociferous in raising their voices against corruption from a specific political platform. And, both have become the twin-headaches for the ruling Trinamool Congress before the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls.

The outside whistle-blower is the former judge of Calcutta High Court, Abhijit Gangopadhyay, who joined BJP on March 7 after resigning from judiciary services on March 5. Since his public address at Siliguri on Saturday, Gangopadhyay has made it clear that his voice against corruption while sitting in the judge’s chair will take a more scathing shape in his new role as a political personality.

Gangopadhyay’s consecutive verdicts and observations in the different cases relating to the cash-for-school-job scam in West Bengal has already made him extremely popular among the common people. His style of functioning, fixing time-bound deadlines for actions as an erstwhile judge, has led to the popular coinage in West Bengal that “tarikh pe tarikh (dates after dates)” is not in the panache of Gangopadhyay.

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As a former judge, Gangopadhyay had to maintain some refrain in vociferously airing his agenda against corruption. However, now being a full- fledged political personality, he is not bound by those restraints and hence is now expected to make more in-depth public interaction exercises on the issue of corruption.

That is where he becomes a major headache for Trinamool Congress before the Lok Sabha polls. Considering the height of popularity that Gangopadhyay has already reached among public sentiments, his allegations against the ruling party are slated to be more meaningful among the common voters.

However, at the same time, Gangopadhyay will have to keep his defences ready against a negative campaign by Trinamool Congress, which the latter has already started, that as a judge his judgements in the school job cases were biased and prompted by his political ambitions.

While the ruling party has at least one forceful counter argument against Gangopadhyay, so far it is yet to display any similar scathing point against six-time legislator Tapas Roy, who also quit Trinamool Congress this week and joined BJP.

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On the contrary, a theory has been floated from within Trinamool Congress, especially the party’s maverick state general secretary and former spokesman Kunal Ghosh, that had the leadership been serious long back the exit of Roy could have been prevented.

What had made Roy different is that he had set a precedent of first resigning as a member of the Legislative Assembly as well as the general member of Trinamool Congress before officially joining the BJP. Even though his current term as an MLA was till 2026. Roy, had for quite some time been appealing to his own party leader not to neglect the issue of corruption and take disciplinary action against those indulging in that.

Secondly, barring a single-day ED operation at his residence in connection with the municipalities’ recruitment case, never ever has there been a single allegation of involvement in corruption in his long political career. Roy, who is always known for his humble lifestyle and amicable behaviour has claimed that the single-day ED operation at his residence was orchestrated by the leader of Trinamool Congress in Lok Sabha, Sudip Bandopadhyay.

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While resigning from Trinamool Congress, Roy’s main grievance was that while Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had been so vocal in supporting the accused mastermind, Sheikh Shahjahan, in the attack on ED and CAPF personnel in Sandeshkhali, she had never raised her voice over the ED operations at his residence.

In fact, Tapas Roy’s grievances on this count sounded quite logical as after the ED operation at his residence, several leaders from the opposition camps, including BJP, Congress and CPI(M) expressed views that corruption-links with him are simply unbelievable even though his political path is different from them.

Now Roy, as he has already said, will reach out to the public in a major way in explaining how having failed to convince the Trinamool Congress leadership to be sensitive on the issue of corruption, finally decided to quit the ruling party and join the BJP.

Considering his immense personal popularity over a large area both in North Kolkata and adjacent North 24 Parganas district, Tapas Roy is all set to be a major headache for Trinamool Congress ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

–IANS

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