Who actually owns the Biswa Bangla brand? This question has turned Bengal politics on its head in recent weeks. The allegation being – it is a “privately owned” brand belonging to chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee . This charge is being levelled by Mamata’s once-trusted confidante and newly inducted BJP leader Mukul Roy. In his very first rally after donning the saffron robe, Roy fired his salvo at Mamata and Abhishek, accusing them of turning the party into a “private limited” company.
Amidst the raging controversy, claims and counter claims, Mamata finally broke her silence on Wednesday. Speaking inside the state Assembly even as the opposition staged a walk out, Mamata claimed, “Biswa Bangal logo is my creation. I had created it in 2013. I have given it to the state government for official use and it can be used as long as the state wants. If the government does not use it, the brand and logo will come back to me.”
While she refrained from naming anyone, Mamata said some sections were trying to create an unnecessary controversy over the matter and claimed that Biswa Bangla was like her dream- one that can never be sold. Her comments come at a time when her nephew is embroiled in a bitter legal tussle with her former lieutenant Mukul Roy.
Earlier this month, while addressing his first public rally for the BJP, Roy alleged that his erstwhile boss was helping her nephew benefit at the behest of the state administration using the Biswa Bangla brand. “The football world cup just concluded here. What did we see? There were hoardings everywhere with Biswa Bangla logo. This brand is not a government property. I have documents which show it is a private company and its owner is Abhishek Banerjee ,” Roy alleged.
Taking exception to such comments, TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee on Tuesday filed a criminal defamation suit against his former party colleague just a day after a local court in Alipurduar district issued a show cause notice to Roy for allegedly violating an order passed by it. “If Mukul Roy can prove allegations against me, I will quit politics. Otherwise he will have to leave Bengal,” he challenged. The court had earlier passed an injunction prohibiting Roy from making any public statement against Banerjee after the later moved a petition. But despite the court order, Roy has continued his tirade against the chief minister’s nephew accusing him of applying for the ownership of Biswa Bangla. On his part, Mukul Roy too has filed a criminal defamation case against the Trinamool Congress MP at New Delhi’s Patiala House Court alleging that the legal notice sent to him for his remarks was defamatory.