The only TMC leader to have been caught purportedly in the Narada sting to lose elections, Madan Mitra – who is presently jailed in the Saradha chit fund scam – became the Trinamool’s most high profile casualty even as the party registered a record victory in the state.
The opposition, across party lines, had trained their guns on Mamata Banerjee and her party with the prime issue being the party’s alleged corruption. Prime among the examples used during this intense campaign was that of Madan Mitra – the only former state minister who contested polls from jail after being indicted by CBI of cheating, conspiracy and criminal breach of trust. He was arrested on December 12, 2004 and has been in jail since then after his bail was cancelled by the Calcutta High Court. Mitra is also the only TMC leader, caught in the purported Narada sting, to lose polls.
It wasn’t until late in the evening that it became clear that Mitra lost to CPI(M)’s Manash Mukherjee with a margin of 4,198 votes. But while the Left declared the victory a case of the “people’s rejection of a corrupt politician”, many in the Mitra camp alleged conspiracy.
“The only way Madan da could lose was if he didn’t have the support of the party. There was definite sabotage. Mamata Banerjee decided to sacrifice Madan Mitra because it’s clear that he is going down. His loss has made it easier for her to reject him,” said a TMC leader close to Mitra.
Meanwhile, Mitra himself had said after the elections that he “wouldn’t have contested” had he known about “restrictions imposed on him by the poll panel”. He was put under constant vigil and barred from using a mobile by the poll panel during his stay at the hospital in the ongoing polls and the EC had explained the move by quoting the opposition’s allegation that he would use his “influence” from the hospital to disrupt fair polling.
The Trinamool Congress will celebrate its sweeping victory in the West Bengal assembly polls through a series of cultural events spanning 10 days beginning Friday, said Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
“There will be cultural functions across all districts from May 20 to May 30,” Banerjee announced after trends showed her party set to attain a brute majority.