A number of Communist Occasion of India (Marxist) leaders who’re identified for his or her clear picture have been approached by I-PAC, the corporate owned by election strategist Prashant Kishor, for becoming a member of the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) forward of the meeting polls in 2021.
Kishor – who earlier helped the Bharatiya Janata Occasion, Congress, Aam Aadmi Occasion and the YSR Congress Occasion win elections – was roped in by chief minister Mamata Banerjee after the BJP gained 18 of the state’s 42 Lok Sabha seats in 2019. The TMC’s tally got here down from 34 seats to 22. The BJP poses a problem to Banerjee within the run-up to the meeting polls.
5 senior CPI(M) leaders, together with a former data know-how minister within the erstwhile Left authorities and a sitting legislator, informed HT that they have been contacted by Kishor’s staff in August and supplied “higher profession prospects within the ruling get together”. They stated they turned down the supply.
All of the Left leaders stated that I-PAC representatives who met them spoke in Hindi and English and stated they have been from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh.
Additionally they claimed that the I-PAC groups informed them that they have been approached solely after a survey confirmed their credibility as trustworthy and efficient politicians.
“On August 4, a person known as me up and stated I had achieved good work whereas serving as legislator from the Entally constituency in Kolkata. He stated I-PAC wish to work together with me. I stated I used to be not and hung up,” stated Debesh Das, former IT minister and a former professor at Jadavpur College.
Laxmi Kanta Roy and Mamata Roy, former CPI(M) legislators, claimed that they have been supplied funds to contest on the TMC ticket.
“A person got here to my home on August 9. He appeared round and requested how might I stay in such a small home and why don’t I’ve a automotive. He stated if I work for the TMC I’d get funds and anything that I’d want. I informed him communists can’t be bought and requested him to depart,” stated Mamata Roy.
Laxmi Kanta Roy claimed to have had an analogous expertise. “I informed the person who got here to my dwelling that Communists don’t deviate from their ideology and I’m proud of my life,” stated Roy.
Rafikul Islam, the CPI(M)’s sitting legislator from Harirampur in South Dinajpur district, stated, “I used to be urged to go to Kishor’s workplace in Kolkata. I stated I’m 67 and a person doesn’t surrender his ideology at this age.”
A lawyer by occupation, Subinay Ghosh, the previous CPI(M) MLA from the Krishnanagar North seat in Nadia district, stated a person from Hyderabad got here to see him on the native courtroom premises.
“He stated I-PAC has shaped separate groups for each Lok Sabha and meeting constituency and I used to be chosen throughout their survey. I stated, having served the individuals as a councillor and MLA, there may be nothing extra I look ahead to in life,” stated Ghosh.
HT contacted I-PAC and a high functionary confirmed that groups from the corporate are approaching handpicked leaders from the Left events.
“It’s evident that the TMC and BJP are the principle forces in Bengal. It’s primarily a two-horse race and the Left is a marginal issue. Our groups are solely telling some chosen Left leaders that in the event that they actually need to serve the individuals they’ve a greater probability of doing that as a part of the TMC. The choice is for them to take,” stated the I-PAC functionary who spoke strictly on situation of anonymity.
Considerably, the functionary bulldozed claims made by a sitting MLA of the Ahead Bloc, a accomplice within the Left Entrance, that Kishor himself insisted on assembly him and drove all the way down to a star resort on EM Bypass in Kolkata to supply ministerial berth within the subsequent authorities.
Ahead Bloc’s youth chief Ali Imran Ramz, who gained the Chakulia meeting seat in North Dinajpur district in 2011 and 2016, claimed that Kishor got here to fulfill him on the resort the place he had gone to have dinner together with his spouse on July 17.
“Anybody can test the resort’s safety digital camera footage to confirm my assertion. My spouse and I had tea with Kishor at a lounge between 10 and 11 pm,” Ramz informed HT.
“It’s a large lie. Ramz was repeatedly telling members of the I-PAC staff that his spouse is a fan of Kishor and the couple wish to meet him. Kishor has been staying at that resort ever since he began working in Bengal a yr in the past. He doesn’t meet MLAs like this. He confirmed the courtesy solely as a result of Ramz got here together with his spouse,” stated the I-PAC functionary.
“After they met, Ramz and his spouse sought Kishor’s recommendation. Ramz stated he doesn’t have a lot future within the Ahead Bloc,” he added.
“It’s also a lie that the couple had dinner on the resort. When Kishor supplied them to have meals with him they stated they’d come straight from a wedding ceremony the place they’d their dinner. So, Kishor supplied them some tea. The couple had tea and low and the invoice was paid by Kishor. We’ve the paperwork,” stated the I-PAC functionary.
When HT questioned Ramz, he went silent on his declare of getting dinner on the resort and admitted that Kishor paid for the drinks.
“I used to be not conscious that Kishor was staying on the resort. However it isn’t true that it was I who insisted on assembly him. Additionally, my spouse doesn’t even know who he’s,” stated Ramz.
Senior TMC chief and state panchayat minister Subrata Mukherjee dismissed the statements made by the CPI(M) leaders. “They misplaced their heads after shedding the elections,” he quipped.