oppn parties An Arrest in Kolkata Shows Mamata Means Business

News Snippets

  • Citizenship Bill to be tabled in the Lok Sabha today. Heated debate likely
  • Domestic tourism in Kashmir slumps by 87% in August-November period
  • Prime Minister Modi says police must make women feel safe
  • West Indies beat India by 8 wickets in the second T20 at Thiruvananthpuram
  • Rahul Gandhi says the NDA government kept Chidambaram in jail for so many days in order to take revenge
  • Kohli reclaims the top spot in ICC rankings from Steve Smith
  • Cabinet clears the Citizenship Bill. It will be placed in the Lok Sabha in a day or two
  • Hindu Jagran Manch members clash with the police in Kolkata after being refused permission to take out a rally
  • West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar says important files were sent late to him and his delay in signing them draws criticism from the TMC. It also brings the state assembly to a halt
  • 92,000 BSNL & MTNL employees apply for early retirement taking advantage of the new government offer. It will result in an annual savings of Rs 8.700 cr for the merged entity
  • Dengue deaths multiply in Kolkata even as the CM, Mamata Banerjee, asks the opposition not to politicize the matter
  • Government orders inquiry into the breach of security at Priyanka Vadra's house
  • Chennai-based engineer Shanmuga Subramanian helps Nasa find the pieces of Vikram lander on the Moon's surface
  • New Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray says his administration will take back cases against Dalits and activists in the Bhima Koregaon case
  • Dhawan calls his dismissal "nonsense"
43 killed in a fire at units in illegal building in heart of Delhi
oppn parties
An Arrest in Kolkata Shows Mamata Means Business

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2016-07-13 13:02:32

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
A TMC councillor was running an extortion racket in Kolkata’s posh Salt Lake area, demanding money for any commercial or construction activity undertaken in wards under his jurisdiction. Some months ago, he demanded money from one Arunava Mukherjee for renovating his house. Little did councillor Anindya Chatterjee realize that Mukherjee was a friend of Bangladesh PM Sk. Hasina. Mukherjee told Hasina about his ordeal. The Bangladesh PM relayed the same to Mamata when she called her to commiserate with her when terror killings took place in Dhaka. That set the wheels rolling and the game was up for Chatterjee.

It now comes to light that Anindya Chatterjee and his hoodlums were not sparing anybody. They took ‘protection’ and ‘approval’ money from tea stalls, rickshaw pullers, food vendors and even the poor living in shanties on government land, ranging from Rs 50 to Rs 200 per month. The rate for anyone making renovations to his house or going for a new construction was anywhere between Rs 2 lakh to Rs 20 lakh. There were several complaints against him and he was finally arrested on an FIR against a complaint filed by businessman and Congress leader Santosh Lodh, who has suffered a stroke as a result of the extortion demand.

Chatterjee was asked to resign but he played for time. Ultimately, he was called to the police station for questioning and arrested. Chatterjee has had a unsavoury reputation for long but the party was turning a blind eye. But Mamata Banerjee post her superb showing in the recent elections is a different person. She has made her intentions known by speaking against corruption and highhandedness in recent times. The arrest of Chatterjee, albeit on Hasina’s intervention, shows that even partymen are not going to be spared if they cross certain limits.

Mamata Banerjee has a squeaky clean reputation as far as corruption is concerned. But the same cannot be said about the middle and lower rungs party leaders. Some at the top have also been accused of high handedness in the past, with Madan Mitra still in jail for his involvement in the Sharada scam. With this arrest, didi has shown that she is not going to tolerate corruption by party leaders anymore. This is a welcome development if it helps in checking the hooliganism prevalent on the ground in West Bengal. If this is checked, it will go a long way in paving the way for big business and investment to return to the state.