Trinamool MP Suman goes against party line again
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Last Updated: Monday, January 11, 2010, 23:19
Kolkata: Trinamool Congress MP Kabir Suman who caused ripples by recording songs valorising arrested tribal leader Chhatradhar Mahato, on Monday crossed swords again with the leadership, with a party leader issuing a warning to him.

"Why should (PCPA leader) Chhatradhar not be described as a people's leader? He has fought for the cause of the oppressed tribals in Lalgarh," Suman told a Bengali TV channel a couple of days after party chief Mamata Banerjee came down hard on Maoists.

He said Banerjee had requested him to join her press conference on Saturday which he did not.

The MP said he would have walked out (of the press conference) if Banerjee had made the demand for army deployment against Maoists in his presence which would have been an embarrassment to the party.

Defending his CD 'Chhatradharer Gaan', demanding Mahato's release and criticising all political parties for 'depriving tribals and forest dwellers of their rights, he said. "Why don't you see him as the leader of the masses? I don't consider him to be a Maoist."

Party secretary-general Partha Chatterjee, present at the TV talk show said, "If you have so much grievances, then the people will ask you to leave the party".

Stating that he should not air his views through the media, Chatterjee said the MP should rather express them within the party forum.

"Everyone in the party is bound to follow party decision and discipline. A spat will only send a wrong message to the electorate. Suman is well aware that the party manifesto has clearly stated that Trinamool Congress does not agree with Maoists," Chatterjee said.

Suman who represents Jadavpore Lok Sabha constituency, however, openly challenged the stand taken by the party chief on army deployment. "It's not possible for me to support it.

"I am against a ban on any political party. I had to keep silent when the Union Home Minister announced it otherwise it would have embarrassed my party. I was not informed about the decision on a ban by my party."

Claiming that he had not sought a Trinamool ticket, he said "I have lost the freedom of my profession which is music after I won the Lok Sabha election on Trinamool Congress ticket."

Stating that he was anti-establishment, Suman said, "I was always a professional and I give importance to my conscience more than the party."

He, however, clarified saying, "That does not mean I am casting aspersions on my party. Mamata is my party leader. I am loyal to the party and Mamata Banerjee."

People's Committee against Police Atrocities (PCPA) leader Mahato has been arrested for waging war against the state and for working closely with Maoists in West Midnapore district.


First Published: Monday, January 11, 2010, 23:19

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