Two days after he was arrested on the orders of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for his alleged involvement in violence at Fakir Chand College in South-24 Parganas, TMC MLA Deepak Haldar was suspended from the party, even as he lamented that the party did not seek to know his side of the story.
“He has been suspended from the party pending enquiry, for his anti-party activities,” TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee confirmed on Wednesday.
With Assembly elections pending next year, Chatterjee said the action against Haldar would send out a strong message among a section of party leaders who have been accused of high-handedness in the recent past. “It is time when party leaders should go at the grassroots level and tell people about the development work that has been done in the state under the leadership of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. The suspension should send a message that no indiscipline will be tolerated,” he said.
According to party insiders, Haldar was suspended by the disciplinary committee of the Trinamool for being close to estranged party MP Mukul Roy.
Haldar got the news of his suspension on his way to Kolkata to admit a student who had sustained injuries in the clash within the college campus on September 14, following which he went straight to the state Assembly.
“I am deeply hurt but will humbly accept what the party has decided. However, the party should have probed into the matter and listened to my version of the story as well,” Halder said, while denying allegations of indulging in anti-party activities.
He also said he would urge Mamata for a reconsideration of the decision. “I may not be in the party, but will still work for the party. Mamata Banerjee is my leader. It is only because of her that I have become what I am today. I am thankful to her,” he added.
Haldar, who is an MLA from Diamond Harbour in South-24 Parganas district, was arrested on Monday by the police under direct instructions of the chief minister for being allegedly involved in a clash between two groups of the Trinamool Chhatra Parishad (TMCP), the students’ wing of TMC, over control of the union room.
Before being produced at the court on Tuesday, Haldar told the media that he was being victimised by a section of his own party members. He was granted bail within minutes.
Meanwhile, Sohrab Ali, another TMC MLA from Raniganj, who had been sentenced to two years’ imprisonment by an Asansol court on September 8 for a theft of railway property, has been pitched as a candidate of Ward 82 for upcoming Asansol Municipal Corporation election. His wife had also filed her candidature for the same ward as an independent candidate. Party sources said it had been done so that in case Ali’s candidature is rejected owing to his conviction, his wife would be there as a back-up.