Kolkata: Suspended Trinamool Congress lawmaker Kunal Ghosh, who was recently granted bail in the Saradha scam, was appointed a member of the Telephone Advisory Committee for Kolkata by the centre. While he has declined the offer citing lack of time as he is fighting a legal battle, it was enough to fuel speculation of him inching towards the BJP.
Mr Ghosh could be on his way out of the Trinamool Congress after supporting the centre’s demonetisation drive – vociferously opposed by Mamata Banerjee – and hitting out at his party for organising protests against the arrest of MPs Sudip Bandyopadhyay and Tapas Paul in the Rose Valley Ponzi scam.
“I support demonetisation and central government should not roll back their decision regarding the banning of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000,” Mr Ghosh said.
He added that the Trinamool Congress should follow the same ‘law will take its own course’ stand it took when he was arrested in the case of Mr Bandyopadhyay and Mr Paul. He also said party workers should not get into the protests.
He further questioned Trinamool’s decision to suspend him and claims that he had been paying the party’s membership fee while in jail. “I am a worker and soldier of Trinamool Congress,” he said. Mr Ghosh will officially reply to his offer letter on Monday. That still leaves some room for rapprochement but that is unlikely, according to sources.
The Raya Sabha MP may not carry much weight in West Bengal politics, but he can provide ammunition against Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, which could help the BJP.
“He is a suspended member and there are procedures and norms which have to be followed as far as the BJP is concerned. There is no question of us warming up to him,” said BJP leader Siddharth Nath Singh.
Mr Ghosh was granted bail in the Saradha scam as the CBI hasn’t named him in its recent chargesheet filed before the court this week.