Arrest triggers factionalism at Trinamool Congress in Barrackpore

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The arrest of a relative of Barrackpore MP Arjun Singh in connection with the murder of a local Trinamool Congress leader has triggered factionalism in the party in the region ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

On Thursday Barrackpore City Police arrested the MP’s nephew Sanjit Singh alias Pappu, in alleged connection with the murder of Vicky Yadav. The local Trinamool worker was killed near his residence in Jagatdal Assembly constituency on November 21. Police said he was called for an interrogation in an attempt to murder case and was later arrested.

The MP claimed that the arrest was illegal and that his nephew had nothing to do with the murder. But the local Trinamool Congress MLA from Jadatdal Somenath Shyam claimed that it was the MP who was behind the murder of the Trinamool Congress supporter.

The MP hit back at MLA bringing to the fore a photograph of Mr. Shyam with an accused blaming him for the murder.

Mr. Arjun Singh was elected from Barrackpore on a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ticket in 2019. He had switched sides from Trinamool Congress to BJP after the State’s ruling party did not give him a ticket to contest the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. In May 2022, Mr. Arjun Singh returned to Trinamool Congress from the BJP.

The developments months ahead of Lok Sabha elections indicate a tussle in the party leadership at Barrackpore. Though Mr. Arjun Singh is hopeful of a ticket, but a section of party leaders is not in his favour.

Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari had taken a dig at the developments. “Phew ! Mamata Police arrests Arjun Singh’s Nephew. What a ‘homecoming’ reward to Arjun Singh from Aunt – Nephew combo, the message is loud & clear; they call the shots and you look like dumb-o,” Mr. Adhikari had tweeted.

Barrackpore subdivision in North 24 Parganas has been a hotbed of political and communal violence over the past few years. Mr. Arjun Singh, a local strongman who has a significant influence in the jute belt of the region has been at the Centre of the controversy over the past several years. When Mr. Arjun Singh was with the BJP, he claimed that there were 90 cases against him.

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