Explosion at TMC office in West Bengal: As Mamata Banerjee’s party accuses BJP, report points to labour unrest, infighting as likely reasons

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New Delhi | Published: August 24, 2018 12:51:31 PM

The main controversy goes around a plastic factory located in the area near the blast site. It has been alleged that there are two factions within the TMC in the area.

TMC Explosion west bengalThe main controversy goes around a plastic factory located in the area near the blast site. It has been alleged that there are two factions within the TMC in the area.

The news of an explosion at the party office of Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress (TMC) at Makrampur in West Midnapore district has raised a few questions. While allegations and counter allegations continue, the cause of the blast will only be ascertained after forensic examination, according to police. However, there are allegations that a large cache of arms and ammunition was stored at the party office and the alleged explosion took place.

The main controversy goes around a plastic factory located in the area near the blast site. It has been alleged that there are two factions within the TMC in the area. While one group has MLA Prodyut Kumar Ghosh from Narayangarh seat in the district, block president Mihir Chandra, and Narayangarh area President Gouranga, the other has Zilla Prashad President Suryakanta. TMC presidents of Makrampur and Pakurseni area (adjacent to Makrampur) are close to Suryakanta, according to a report published in Anandabazar.com. The area is a stronghold of TMC as the party had won 13 out of 13 seats uncontested in the recently held Panchayat elections.

According to reports, TMC president of Pakurseni controls the employment of labourers in that plastic factory. However, locals alleged that while labourers were paid Rs 351 per day, they actually ended up getting Rs 230-Rs 250, with the rest of the funds being allegedly pocketed by TMC presidents of Makrampur and Pakurseni, the Anandabazar report says.

A total number of 1200 labourers are employed at the factory. The amount that the TMC leader allegedly used to get per month stood at a whopping Rs 40 lakh. Recently, labourers agitated against this and went for a strike. Later MLA Ghosh pacified them and assured them of looking into the matter.

However, the matter escalated as Zilla Prashad President Suryakanta wanted to replace the old existing labourers with a new set of workers. A plan was hatched and to ensure that there is no opposition, ammunition was stocked in the party office, the report says.

TMC Minister Partha Chatterjee has blamed BJP for the incident. Local TMC leader Ajit Maiti said they were collecting all information regarding the explosion. “Either it was a cylinder blast or some outsiders threw bombs at the TMC office. We have requested the administration to investigate,” he said. MLA Ghosh said the cause of the explosion could not be ascertained immediately and the police were looking into it. The MLA, however, acknowledged that there was labour unrest at the factory but chose not to link the unrest with the incident of the blast.

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