‘Energetic boy’ Arabul could cost party dear, warn some Trinamool leaders

A section of Trinamool Congres leaders has questioned why the party is backing a "tainted leader" like Arabul Islam, whose recent activities have embarrassed Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the state government several times.

According to them, "tainted leaders like him" should be restrained, otherwise "the party will pay the price".

Arabul, who allegedly led a mob that fired at CPM cadres at Bamanghata on Tuesday, is also the main accused in the assault on CPM MLA Abdur Rezzaq Mollah on Sunday. State industry minister Partha Chatterjee described Arabul an energetic boy with good leadership qualities.

This is the third time after the Mamata government came to power that Arabul, who has 11 criminal cases against him, has hit the headlines for the wrong reasons. Though a section of party leaders has demanded his punishment, the core party leadership defends him all the times because of "his strong grip over the cadres in Bhangar".

"A person like Yudhishthir cannot fight against people like Rezzaq," Chatterjee had said following the Bamanghata violence. His comment indicates that the party will not take action against Arabul this time too.

An FIR was lodged by the CPM against Arabul in connection with the attack on Mollah and firing at CPM supporters, Governor M K Narayanan questioned the role of the police in the incidents and expressed concern about the "goondaism" in the state.

Several intellectuals like Samir Aich, Sunanda Sanyal, who had rallied behind Mamata and given a call to end the Left rule, have strongly condemned Arabul's activities. They observed that only a regime change had taken place in West Bengal but no "real parivartan" had happened.

Some Trinamool leaders said the state government is "losing popularity fast" because of leaders like Arabul. "We have lost support of many personalities who stood by us during Singur and Nandigram. We should not forget intellectuals like Mahasweta Devi and Sunanda Sanyal," a Trinamool MP said.

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