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Trinamool, BJP blame each another for Tapas Paul's death
Kolkata, Feb 18 - West Bengal's ruling Trinamool Congress and opposition BJP got engaged in political fisticuffs over the death of actor-turned-politician Tapas Paul on Tuesday.
While state minister and Trinamool leader Firhad Hakim blamed the centre's 'politics of vengeance' for former Trinamool MP Paul's demise, state BJP chief Dilip Ghosh made a veiled attack on the Trinamool, saying the "deceased had to pay dearly for his association".
Paul, who died aged 61 in Mumbai early on Tuesday, was a two-time Lok Sabha MP and MLA. However, he had landed in several controversies during the last few years of his life.
In 2014, a video of his speech warning CPI-M workers to "beware" of him as he won't spare them "and destroy your entire clan" and "unleash my boys to rape your women" went viral, causing widespread outrage across the nation. Paul later issued a written apology, but his image had by then sustained an immense damage.
He was also arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on December 30, 2016, in connection with the multi-billion rupees Rose Valley Chit Fund scam, and got bail after remaining 13 months in prison.
"Tapas Paul's death is untimely. He also quit acting earlier. The way he died, the pain and sufferings that he endured, is the fallout of the association he kept.
"People should draw lessons from his political career. There is a need to understand who are those people who convert good human beings into evil persons," said Ghosh.
Paul was plagued by failing health in the last two years of his life, as he almost became a loner, unsuccessfully knocking on the doors of producers and directors for an opportunity to return to films. The Trinamool did not include him in its candidates' list for last year's Lok Sabha polls.
However, Hakim had a different take.
"Tapas Paul was a very good human being. We are also saddened by his death. He has passed away, unable to take the politics of vengeance unleashed by the Centre," he said.
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