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