Trinamool Congress (TMC) stripped off Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation (BMC) Mayor Sabyasachi Dutta of his powers on Sunday on the charge of making anti-party statements and handed over his powers to his deputy Tapas Chatterjee. Bidhannagar is one of the four municipal corporations in the Kolkata metropolitan area or Greater Kolkata.
Senior TMC leader and West Bengal minister Firhad Hakim on Monday referred to the veteran leader Sabyasachi Dutta as ‘Mir Jafar’- a synonym for traitor and said, “It would be good if he leaves the party.”
The decision discharging Dutta of his responsibilities was taken at an emergency meeting of BMC councillors, who urged party supremo Mamata Banerjee to take a call on Dutta’s fate in the party. In fact, several councillors had even threatened to resign if Dutta continued as the mayor. Hakim was also present at the meeting.
Dutta, who is also the Rajarhat-New Town MLA, had ticked his party off on Friday by participating in an agitation against the Mamata Banerjee government and daring the party to act against him. The agitation was organised by a Trinamul-backed labour union in the state-run power sector in Salt Lake.
In his speech in the protest, Dutta had condemned the government for not accepting the longstanding demand for a raise in salaries and payment of the pending dearness allowance. Challenging the Trinamul leadership, he had said: “If I am saying anti-party things, take action against me. I have no objection.”
Now that Dutta has been stripped off his powers, speculations are rife that he may switch over to BJP. Dutta has reportedly met BJP leader Mukul Roy at the Bidhanagar Swimming pool Association Club in Salt Lake. Roy is a former TMC leader who has been instrumental in bringing many TMC leaders to BJP.
When inquired about his meeting with Roy, Dutta said, “Mukul da is just like my elder brother. He is aware of the political developments, so he just came to inquire about my well-being and future plans. It’s a courtesy visit.”
While speaking on the party’s decision to strip him of his powers as mayor, Dutta said, “There is a rule of law. There are certain procedures. I will follow that as long as I am there as mayor. I am not bothered about what others are saying.”
Meanwhile, Roy also declined to give a direct reply on whether Dutta would join the BJP in the near future. “Only time will say whether he will join the BJP or not. But being the elder brother, I would surely want for his well-being and good,” he asserted.
Recently, many TMC leaders and workers have been crossing over to the BJP leaving the party supremo riled. Disgruntled by continuous setbacks, Mamata had called all the defectors “greedy and corrupt” and claimed that BJP was “collecting garbage”. TMC supremo also said she would be replacing the “traitors” with “dedicated members” and asked those “undecided about joining the BJP” to leave her party at the earliest.