Seeing the TMC disintegrating lately, the old man could not remain a mute spectator, he said, nearly breaking down; the unmoved chief minister asked her convoy to keep moving.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on her way to a meeting place in Jalpaiguri on 15 December suddenly was obstructed by an old man who stood in the way of her convoy. He pleaded to the chief minister, “Veteran Trinamool activists are turning disinterested in the party. Please do something about it.”
The old man was Rajen Roy, 70, a resident of Paharpur area of Jalpaiguri. He is well-known as a TMC activist in the area. Seeing the party disintegrating lately, he could not remain a mute spectator, he said, nearly breaking down.
As the chief minister’s convoy moved slowly, Roy sneaked in to get close to Banerjee. Roy said, ‘The local TMC leadership is no longer giving importance to the original cadres of the party in the district. Why should this happen? During the rainy season, 20 out of 25 wards of Jalpaiguri town were flooded and nobody in the party cared.”
As the old man was just getting started, Banerjee’s bodyguards whisked him away. When reporters caught up with him, he told them, “I have demanded of the Chief Minister to pay attention to north Bengal and consider the negligence of our area a serious issue.”
The chief minister, unmoved by the plea of the septuagenarian, directed her driver to proceed to the venue of the public meeting.
According to TMC’s district president Krishnakumar Kalyani, the party office is open from morning till night. “Anyone can come and complain here,” he said, refusing to look at the incident as Mamata Banerjee’s insensitivity.
During the previous visit of Mamata Banerjee to Jalpaiguri in 2018, Roy had come in the way of the convoy of the chief minister in a similar manner in Babupara area of the town. He had then handed Banerjee a letter about the drinking water problem in his area. It worked. District administration officials appeared in the locality the next day on the instructions of the chief minister.
Sources said, however, that it is unlikely that the chief minister would take action on the complaint this time as she views north Bengal to have slipped out of the hands of her ruling party. “For all you know, this man could have been planted by the BJP,” a TMC activist said, adding that this is more or less how the party is viewing north Bengal these days.