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Will Bengal’s syndicate Raj anguish the Trinamool Congress?

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Image source: www.hindustantimes.com

Kolkata: Simply defined, ‘syndicate’ means a group of individuals combining to promote a common interest; but in West Bengal, ‘syndicate’ not only dominates the economic aspect but is becoming a major political issue in the poll-bound state.

Enjoying political patronage, these cartels of muscle-flexing youth, are said to force promoters and contractors to buy construction materials often of inferior quality at high prices. It’s not just the brick or cement, even in hiring a legal expert for procedural formalities or a priest for performing the “bhumi pujan”, the syndicates have the final word.

From the city’s neighbouring Bidhannagar to the industrial belt of Asansol, these syndicates have been mushrooming wide and across and even the Calcutta High Court expressed its concern over the “syndicate raj”, pointing out that it has not spared even the judiciary.

While the allegations of political patronage for syndicates are mostly directed at the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC), the Communist Party of India-Marxist-led Left Front has also faced similar accusations towards the end of its 34-year-long tenure.

In fact, in the early years of the last decade, when then state housing minister Gautam Deb announced plans to acquire large tracts of land in the city’s north eastern fringes to set up the sprawling Newtown-Rajarhat township, it was decided that the land losers would form co-operatives for supplying building materials to the new land owners.

Gradually, these co-operatives became powerful as muscle and money added to their growing influence in the localities. Such is their clout now, that even local problems like landlord-tenant disputes or quarrels regarding road tap water queues are handled by syndicate heads.

The Trinamool has landed into a mess following party MLA Sabyasachi Dutta’s candid admission of the “flourishing syndicate raj”.

Already reeling under the Narada issue – a sting operation by a portal showing several of key Trinamool leaders taking bribe — and the recent flyover collapse that killed 26 people, the Trinamool is now at the receiving end of the opposition. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during a rally, said the TMC stands for “Terror”, “Maut” (death) and “Corruption”.

Two days after Dutta was caught in a sting in which he admitted how the “Rs.50 lakh to Rs.60 lakh required to fight the polls comes mostly from the syndicates”, Modi while campaigning in the state, tore into the Trinamool, saying “maut (death) and money have replaced the (TMC) slogan of “Maa Maati Manush (mother, land, people)”.

While the opposition – the CPI-M-led Left Front, the Congress and the BJP have been raising the syndicate issue time and again, Modi’s raising the issue has set the political temperatures soaring.

It’s not just in the poll season. The syndicates have been in the news for a long time with their highly lucrative business often alleged to be the major cause of factional feuds within the Trinamool.

With Bidhannagar and New Town being the hotbed of these syndicates, clashes allegedly between followers of Dutta and those of Bidhannagar’s Trinamool MLA, Sujit Bose – have often been reported.

There have also been several shoot-outs and murders involving members of the syndicates.

In fact, during her address to party supporters at a rally in the city, Banerjee sent out a strong message – asking them to choose between syndicates and the party.

West Bengal assembly elections are being held in six phases. The first phase was on April 4, the second is due on Monday. (IANS)

 

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Victims of Self-Serving Mamata And Her Outrages

Bengal CM could not yet identify who really "protects" the country and who really endangers the country.  Here the big irony is that Didi’s “unconstitutional misdeeds”;  her outright cruelty towards some and preferential treatment towards others hardly hit the headlines and  nor is she brought into question.

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Mamata Banerjee
If one sincerely analyzes the postures and gestures of Ms. Mamata in her tenure of the past 15-year, one just becomes deeply apprehensive.

By: SALIL GEWALI 

How does one describe the tantrums that have often been thrown by W. Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee? Much has been heard of her insincere rhetoric. But they are just accepted as politically correct. She has larger section of elite fraternities who have fallen for her, and her “likes” and “dislikes”. Therefore, no outcry of protest even when Rohingyas were welcomed by Didi. Instead, many hearts melted and sympathies were expressed. ‘They are tortured and deported from Myanmar, so India should be kind to provide them the shelter on humanitarian ground’ – this narrative of humanity was tactfully put forth while other activists kept mum. Here in India people are smart and know well how to juggle with“silence and noise”.

A few days back Didi has begun a sit-down drama with the gaze towards the Center. WB CM in her flip-flop has now willfully stepped on the toes of the very constitution of the country. She had also unchained the police forces and set them on CBI! What does one call if the sit-in strike is by CM and the Police officers together against the Central Government? This strange dharna has been dubbed by Mamata’s allies as a Dharma. Never was the chit-fund less fun for the CM and her followers though it brought countless poor people to grief. Lakhs of families have had fallen into ruin. SIT is just an eyewash.

Bengal
A few days back Didi has begun a sit-down drama with the gaze towards the Center. WB CM in her flip-flop has now willfully stepped on the toes of the very constitution of the country.

If one sincerely analyzes the postures and gestures of Ms. Mamata in her tenure of the past 15-year, one just becomes deeply apprehensive. Her intense love for the votes has long soiled her sacred Sari. And her love for the currency “notes” has apparently driven away the saintly soul which she often claims to carry. Of course, she shrewdly capitalized on her sainthood from the very beginning, but mostly for the wrong ends.

Without a sense of guilt, she had sent the brute force to the Hills in 104 days of bandh that left 13 Gorkha citizens dead. Many of those killed were also the “siblings” of the soldiers that are now protecting the nation from the enemy, standing day in day out along the rugged and icy Indo-Pak boarders. Bengal CM could not yet identify who really “protects” the country and who really endangers the country. Under the instruction of DIDI the Bengal police forces in Siliguri had blocked even the essential food items to Darjeeling. All leaders have turned their back on the aggrieved Gorkha people who have been crying for the identity and land for over a century. Nor any efforts are made by the media to assess the real plight of the aggrieved Hills’ people. However, Didi’s heart always goes out to the guests from across the broader whom she has brought in millions and awarded them the first-class citizenship. Here the big irony is that Didi’s “unconstitutional misdeeds”; her outright cruelty towards some and her preferential treatment towards others hardly hit the headlines and nor is she ever brought into question.

Bengal
Didi has a brigand of other colleagues who carry the same ideas, same agendas, and the same mission.

Well, Didi has taken many such steps that have already started to “pose” potential threats to the original Bengali. It is quite clear now that she has “sown” the seeds that are going to be grown into the jungle of nettles. They will surely and hurtfully sting not only the body but the heart and soul of the citizens of West Bengal and other states. What with her TMC Cadre? They are legitimatized goons, the most beloved in the state.  Hardly any FIRs are accepted against TMC’s misconducts and brutalities.

Also Read: Students From Abroad Must Come to India For Higher Studies, Says PM Narendra Modi
Now coming back to the present case. Today Didi looks intensely fearless, she has been very emboldened. She even openly challenges the enforcement machinery from the Center. Making gross misinterpretations of the constitution is what she is exceptionally good at.  Many federal guidelines and regulations are just non-existent for the present West Bengal.  No wonder, Didi has a brigand of other colleagues who carry the same ideas, same agendas, and the same mission. This only makes her more invincible and more ferocious. True, soon after the unprecedented standoff between Police and CBI, Didi has received bountiful best wishes from Rahul, Sitaram Yechury, Chandrababu Naidu Mayawati, Mulayam Singh, Lalu Pd Yadav, Kejriwal, et al.

   Please kindly note, her well-wishers also include those forces who want to see India being broken to pieces. Here one wonders when people could tell apart Didi’s Sanyasini outfit and her true character. Let’s be smart before it is too late, else the country is never going to be in safe hands.

Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great minds on India’. Twitter: @SGewali.