A fortnight after he was called a Maoist by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and put in jail,Shiladitya Choudhury returned home on Friday to a warm welcome and surprising news: he and his family have been inundated with job offers by local Trinamool Congress leaders.
Party leaders at Nayagram village in Binpur admit they have never been so embarrassed. Shiladitya used to be a TMC supporter while his brother Tilak is a local party worker. Till Mamatas wrath fell upon the 32-year-old farmer for asking one too many question at a public rally,they were ardent backers of the CM.
Trinamool leaders admit having visited the Choudhury family at least thrice since he was held on August 11 to console them,and say the job offers had the sanction of top leaders.
Among those to have visited the Choudhurys include Binpur TMC leader Jaladhar Panda and party leader in charge of Nayagram,Deepak Karan.
I admire Didi and I do not support Shiladityas misconduct… Now things have become complicated. We visited them to tell the family we are with them. This area is a strong base of ours and we have to retain our support after the incident, Panda said.
However,the Choudhurys are not moved and neither is the village,which turned up in strength at the court to welcome Shiladitya as he was released on Saturday. Shiladitya pointed out that the police could not submit anything in court to prove he was a Maoist or to substantiate the other charge against him of assaulting a police officer.
Neither I nor my family members will accept any job offer until the case against me is withdrawn, said Shiladitya. We may be poor but we have dignity… My brother might have shown disrespect to Didi,but he has never been a Maoist, said Tilak.
Shiladityas mother Sandhya said their small mud house had once sported as many as five posters of Mamata. Shiladityas wife Khukumani pulled down all the posters after her husband was arrested, she said.