Kolkata: The Trinamool Congress central leadership on Tuesday reprimanded a party MLA for publicly claiming that people pay extortion money to ruling party men, thus tarnishing" the party's image.
The MLA from Purbasthali uttar in Burdwan district, Tapan Chatterjee's statement, which was aired by TV channels, claimed, "Money was raised in the name of All India Trinamool Congress, but there was no mention of the name of the secretary or the person who is taking the money. Only an amount of Rs 5,000 is mentioned".
The party leadership asked the MLA to submit evidence in support of his claim and warned that none in the party can do so without informing the party first.
"If there is any substance in his allegation, the party will definitely see. I spoke to the party's MLA Tapan Chatterjee over telephone today and asked him to explain in writing his conduct for going public with his allegation tarnishing the party's image," TMC secretary-general Partha Chatterjee told PTI.
"I have also asked him to submit evidence to support his claim," Chatterjee, who is the state's education minister said.
Chatterjee said that anyone making such claim would have to first present it in the party forum. "You should not make such allegation publicly by trying to be a hero," Chatterjee told the MLA.
TMC Burdwan district president Swapan Debnath, said he
had received no complaint from the MLA about extortion.
"If such complaints are received, we will investigate and verify the truth," Debnath, also a minister in the TMC government, said.
The ruling party recently expelled two of its leaders, including a former MLA Arabul Islam, for six years on charges of indiscipline.
It had also cautioned senior leader and party MP from Contai Sisir Adhikary who created a buzz by claiming that development gets stalled in West Bengal unless people pay extortion money to ruling party leaders.