It is almost certain that the Trinamool Congress leadership will be totally distancing itself from the brewing controversy over the “cash for query scam” concerning party’s Lok Sabha MP of West Bengal Mahua Moitra. From statements by the party leaders it is clear that handling the “cash-for-query” issue is more of Moitra’s personal battle rather than a united party affair and that she will have to fight her own battle on this count. It is clear that the TMC is not willing to take any responsibility for the controversy over the issue. Moitra so far, has put up a brave face and claimed that she is ready to face any kind of questioning be it from the Ethics Committee of Parliament or from the Central Bureau of Investigation.
Since the “cash-for query” controversy erupted, Trinamool Congress had been maintaining a strategic distance from the matter. There are a number of factors that have isolated Moitra within her own party. The first factor is that at a time when the ruling Trinamool Congress and the state government are already saddled with too many alleged scams like the school jobs, municipalities jobs, coal and cattle smuggling with the latest being the ration distribution irregularities, the controversy over the “cash for query” issue has become an extra burden for the leadership. In such a situation, feel observers, the leadership might have thought it wise to distance itself from the issue and let the Lok Sabha member fight her own battle.
The second factor is more important and that is about the future investment potential by the Adani Group in West Bengal. In April last year while addressing the inaugural session of the Bengal Global Business Summit-2022, the annual event organised by the government to showcase the state as an ideal investment destination, the Adani Group founder and chairman Gautam Adani promised an investment in the state to the tune of Rs 10,000 crore over the next few years. He also announced that the investments will be made in sectors like undersea cables, data centres and warehouses, providing direct and indirect employment to around 25,000 people.
It is a different question on when the proposed investments will actually fructify. But considering that West Bengal is not a favourite investment destination principally because of the state government’s land and SEZ policies, the ruling party cannot really jeopardise the potential of the promised investment. So from this perspective, the Trinamool Congress leadership has thought it wise to distance itself from the ‘cash for query’ issue involving Moitra. The final reason is the district-level infighting within the TMC in Nadia. Already there had been complaints from a section of the Nadia district leadership against Moitra about not giving much time to her constituency. Following those complaints a negative approach towards Moitra was already there among a section of the leadership.