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CPM members acquire property beyond means - The Observer

Observer Political Bureau ()
August 3, 1998

Title: CPM members acquire property beyond means
Author: Observer Political Bureau
Publication: The Observer
Date: August 3, 1998

Central Committee members of the Communist Party of India
(Marxist) and several Government secretary level employees of
West Bengal have allegedly acquired real estate property quite
beyond their means.

Among them are Central Committee (CC) and state secretariat (SS)
member and editor party's Bengali daily - Ganasakti - Anil
Biswas, CC and SS member Biman Basu (he may replace state party
secretary Sailen Dasgupta), North 24 Parganas District committee
(DC) secretary Amitabha Bose, South 24 Parganas DC secretary
Samir Putatunda, Bankura DC secretary Amiya Patra, and South
Dinajpur DC secretary Bireswar Lahiri.

A DC member has made this allegation in writing to CPM General
Secretary Harkishen Singh Surjeet, with copies to a couple of
Politburo members, along with the list.

Most of these leaders acquired benami property. Anil Biswas and
Biman Bose purchased spacious apartments near the junction of
Lenin Sarani and Acharyya J C Bose Road. (How the Calcutta
Municipal Corporation has allowed the high rise structure without
leaving statutory margin of space remains a mystery?), Patra at
Taldangra (a two-storeyed house), while Amitabha Bose has it in

Ex-Rajya Sabha and SS member Dipen Ghosh, is reportedly acquiring
a 1,200 sq ft flat in south-eastern Calcutta.

All these leaders are supposed to have disclosed their property
including their relatives, to the central and state party
headquarters as per the stipulations laid down under the
rectification programme.

Real estate issue is very likely to feature in the State party
conference, prior to the 16th party Congress, here.

A faction opposed to Amitabha Bose, which enjoys the support
front Dasgupta, in North 24 Parganas district conference is hell-
bent for a showdown as Subhash Chakraborty, Sports and Transport
Minister and a state committee member, was excluded from the new
district secretariat, despite request from the SS.

Chakraborty's close confidantes, Gautam Deb, Housing minister,
Rabin Mandal, chief whip of Left Front legislature group, Ranjit
Mitra, former MLA, and district CITU leader, Ajit Chowdhury,
although included in the DS, have decided to boycott SS meetings
if Chakraborty is not accommodated.

The three will write to Surjeet about the factionalism to such an
extent that Tebhaga-famed Hemanta Ghoshal too was not retained in
the DS. "The party leaders are dictated by fishery and brick kiln
owners and real estate developers. A new recruit in the
secretariat openly boasts of his regular pay-offs from fishery
owners," a septugenarian DC member said.

Exclusion of Rabin Deb, MLA, Lakshmi De, and Lakshmi Sen from
secretariat of Calcutta DC at its conference a few days back is
also an indication of spreading factionalism. Naren Sen, 87, DC
secretary is unwilling to stay on but his factional adherents
like Prasanta Chatterjee, mayor of Calcutta, Prasanta, Sur,
former Health and Family Welfare Minister and Nizamuddin, leader
of hawkers' union, forced him to continue. Nizamuddin too has
real estate links. A zonal committee secretary of South Calcutta,
staying in Jadavpur-Bejoygarh region, was twice warned for
involvement in real estate development. But he is close to the
Sen faction in Calcutta DC.

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