'Wish There Was an SC Order Asking Me to Clean the System': Ex-CBI Additional Director and TMC Leader Upen Biswas on 'Cut Money'
Kolkata: Amid ‘cut money’ charges against Trinamool Congress leaders, former party minister and the chairman of West Bengal Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Development Finance Corporation (WBSCSTDFC) Upendranath Biswas said that the issue should not be seen as an isolated case and should be looked in a holistic manner.
Upendranath Biswas, popularly known as Upen Biswas, retired as additional director of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in 2002. A 1968 batch IPS officer (West Bengal cadre), Biswas came into the limelight for pursuing former chief ministers of Bihar Jagannath Mishra and Lalu Prasad Yadav’s involvement in the Rs 950 crore fodder scam.
In an interview with News18.com, Biswas broke his silence over ‘cut money’ charges against TMC by stressing that an immediate dialogue from bottom to top level is required to clean the system. He said, “Investigation is in my DNA. I keep revising my knowledge on criminology. Please don’t look at this ‘cut money’ issue as an isolation case in West Bengal. You must look at it in a holistic manner.”
“Cut money has two elements; extortion and willing payers. It depends on the situation. I did a research from 2007 to 2010 on corruption in panchayat system. It took me back to BR Ambedkar who was against the panchayat system. I believe in him because he said that village politics is full of caste system, fighting among each other and taking benefits etc. He was not taken seriously on this issue. I am a follower of Ambedkar (I am not a follower of Gandhi) and I believe him on Panchayat. Therefore, I would like to request all not to demonise them (those who deviate from track),” he said.
Asked about the TMC facing flak over ‘cut money’ issue and his suggestion to the party, he said, “The party needs to have a discussion from the bottom to the top on various levels. Taking action against a handful of people is not going to solve the problem. The party as a whole has to do it right from the booth and panchayat level. If Mamata Banerjee asks me this question, my reply would be the same. She didn’t ask me and I didn’t say anything.”
Biswas further said, “One party cannot solve the problem. All parties need to sit together. It’s not correct to demonise leaders.”
On his alleged silence on the ‘cut money’ issue, Biswas said, “There are some compulsions when you are in a political party. The party has a policy and it has a spokesperson. I cannot say anything on this as this will be highly immoral.”
Asked why he hasn’t resigned to free himself of party compulsions and speak on the issue, he said, “It is easy to resign because it will affect my mission. I am silently working for the development of 70 per cent of SC and ST community in West Bengal. You simply cannot resign leaving them behind. If I am out, I cannot do anything for the people.”
“You cannot solve the problem with one tablet. Has the leader taken the responsibility? If my boys are corrupt, I have no right to demonise my boys by branding them corrupt. The leadership needs to take the responsibility. They need to take the stand,” he said.
Biswas, however, still wants to do his bit. “I wish I were young and the Supreme Court instructed me to investigate corruption in the system, especially at the panchayat level. I would love to take the responsibility.”