Kolkata: A Trinamool Congress legislator from Burdwan in West Bengal has been caught on camera claiming at a large meeting that leaders of his party are extorting money from businessmen in his district.
Tapan Chatterjee was addressing an internal party meeting of about 200 people at Manteshwar on Monday when he said, "Some of our TMC leaders are engaged in extorting money from different businessman of our area, they are sending envelopes with a note stating the amount that should be sent to them by businessman."
Trinamool workers and supporters present objected to the comment and heckled Mr Chatterjee, forcing him to stop speaking. The party, which rules West Bengal has not reacted or taken any action against the MLA.
Mr Chatterjee joins a growing list of leaders from the ruling Trinamool whose controversial comments have caused the Mamata Banerjee government embarrassment. His startling allegation has given the opposition more ammunition to attack the state government, which is under fire for the state police's handling of the investigation into the October 2 blast investigation and over the Saradha chit-fund scam.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday asked party leaders to launch a counter-offensive against what she said were "canards and a malicious campaign" against her government.
She asked party leaders to launch a door-to-door campaign and prepare a booklet to inform the people about attempts being made to link her party with the two issues, a senior party leader quoted her as having told a closed-door party meeting.