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TMC-CPM ‘chit’ chat over Tagore

Derek says Left politicking on Tagore b’day,Yechury hits back for ‘shaming Bengal’.

Written by Press Trust Of India | New Delhi | Published: May 10, 2013 4:09:03 am

IN the ongoing war of words between the CPM and the ruling Trinamool Congress over the chit fund scam,leaders from both the sides of the fence were found using the occasion of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s 152 birth anniversary to cut their opponents to size.

The first leader to bring up Tagore was Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien who slammed the Left Front leaders of “politicking on a day when Bengal was celebrating Gurudev”. Trinamool’s Rajya Sabha member made the comment to crticise Left leaders who met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Thursday to push for a CBI probe into the chit fund scam rocking the state.

“On Rabindra Jayanti,a day Bengal celebrates Gurudev Rabindranath and abjures politicking,true to form the CPM doesn’t. It has resorted to dirty games,” he said.

“Aside from the hypocrisy,couldn’t the CPM have chosen another day? I suppose such cultural insensitivity comes easily to it,” the quizmaster-turned-politician said.

“After all the CPM is the party that threw out Sahaj Path and lost Gurudev’s Nobel medal. His message is secondary to its politics,” the MP said pointing to the theft of Tagore’s Nobel medal from Santiniketan when Left was in power in the state.

O’Brien’s comment soon got a retort from senior CPM leader Sitaram Yechury. “We hang our heads in shame today even though Rabindranath Tagore hoped for a place ‘where the mind is without fear and the head is held high’,”said Yechury while referring to the latest instances of heightened corruption,in particular the ponzi scam in Bengal,and growing assaults on women.

When asked to react on O’Brien’s remarks made against the Left leaders to choose Tagore’s birth anniversary to demand CBI probe into the chit fund scam,Yechury said: “Instead of holding our heads high,we hang our heads in shame today as we see such high levels of corruption and the politician-business nexus in West Bengal”.

Another Left Front leader,Barun Mukherjee of the Forward Bloc,slammed the Trinamool MP and asked whether the party had “the moral right” to celebrate Tagore’s birth anniversary after their “involvement” in such scams.

“Tagore had said aami tomaderi lok (I am one of you people). We,the Left,are observing the poet’s birthday by raising issues afflicting the people,” Mukherjee said in his repartee.

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