One of the biggest stars of the Bengali music industry, Nachiketa Chakraborty, penned a song over the ‘cut money’ crisis that Trinamool Congress is currently gripped with. The song in which Nachiketa appears to be mocking Mamata Banerjee and her party for perpetuating a bribe culture has gone viral on social media.
মানুষের মনের কথা গানের মাধ্যমে সঠিক মাত্রার ‘Sattire’-এর তড়কা লাগিয়ে সকলের সামনে নিয়ে আসার জন্য নচিকেতা-দাকে আমার অশেষ ধন্যবাদ ??? pic.twitter.com/eBrLP31K3X
— Babul Supriyo (@SuPriyoBabul) June 22, 2019
In the song, Nachiketa asks corrupt politicians to return the money they have taken as bribes as their time of reckoning was drawing near. However, he doesn’t take any names. Nachiketa has a reputation for being a maverick and has released songs in the past as well mocking the political fraternity.
The song was shared by BJP MP from Asansol and Union Minister, Babul Supriyo, on social media. He said, “I would like to thank Nachiketa-da for perfectly communicating the message of the masses through his song spicing it up with proper quotient of satire.”
However, Nachiketa denied that the lyrics were directed at Mamata Banerjee and claimed it was directed at corrupt politicians across India regardless of their political affiliation. “Perhaps Babul did not interpret my song in the right context, in the correct way,” he said. “Only a CM like Banerjee can take such a stand against the practice of accepting cut money. She has the guts, I am with her,” he added.
However, not even Trinamool leaders believe Nachiketa’s words. “Nachiketa’s song is propaganda material served on a platter to the BJP,” a senior Trinamul leader was quoted by The Telegraph as saying.
The ‘cut money’ that the musician is referring to is the bribe that local Trinamool leaders took from people in lieu of implementing government welfare schemes. The West Bengal Chief Minister had recently warned that any money that was taken by members of her party ought to be returned to the people it was taken from and should anyone be found indulging in extortion, then the person would be arrested.
“I do not want to keep thieves in my party. If I take action they will join some other party. Some leaders are claiming 25 per cent commission for providing housing grants to the poor. This should stop immediately. Return the money if any of you have taken it,” Banerjee had said.
The order by Mamata which appears to have been directed to counter BJP’s allegations that it was running a ‘Syndicate Raj’ in the state seems to have backfired instead. People are now lining up in front of the houses of Trinamool leaders demanding their money to be returned. At over 15 places on Sunday, hundreds of people lined up seeking refunds of cut money paid earlier. Local Trinamool leaders and elected representatives in Birbhum, Cooch Behar, Jalpaiguri, Burdwan, Malda, Purulia, Nadia, West Midnapore and Bankura are suffering the wrath of the public.
At two places, the agitators even forced the elected representatives to declare in writing that they would return the money they had taken as commission. At Oushgram in East Burdwan, TMC leader Ujjwal Mondal admitted that he had charged between Rs.8000-Rs.10000 from the beneficiaries of government welfare schemes.
The carefully constructed empire Mamata had built over the years now appears to be crumbling all of a sudden. Her government is suffering a massive trust deficit among the public due to her terrible record on law and order. There is an impression among the public that Trinamool has turned into a ‘Muslim party’. Moreover, the mishandling of the Doctors’ protest has greatly damaged Mamata’s personal reputation in the public’s eye.
Combined with the rampant political murders in the state, the continuous defections from her party and now the ‘Cut Money’ crisis, the aftermath of the Lok Sabha elections has turned into a nightmare scenario for Mamata Banerjee. More significantly, people who had once supported her call for ‘Poriborton’ have now deserted her.
Nachiketa was one such star from the entertainment industry in 2011 who was perceived to be close to Mamata Banerjee and had performed at several TMC events that year. With Assembly elections slated for 2021, ‘Didi’ is fast running out of time to repair the incredible damage to her reputation.
Many party leaders are of the opinion that the move by Mamata Banerjee on ‘Cut Money’ could prove to be devastating for the party because it amounts to an admission that leaders of the party did indulge in corruption and the administration had turned a blind eye to it until now.
It was forced to issue a statement over the matter where it accused the media of misrepresenting what the Chief Minister said. According to a statement by the party, “The Chairperson (Mamata Banerjee) emphasized that 99.99% of the Trinamool functionaries and elected representatives are honest, hardworking and committed to work for the benefit of the people.”