A day after noted Bengali actor and Trinamool member Tapas Pal breathed his last, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee blamed the Centre, led by Bharatiya Janata Party, for it.
According to the Trinamool matriarch, Centre's "vendetta politics" took his life.
"The vendetta politics of the central government is condemnable. I have seen three deaths before my eyes because of it," she said.
A celebrated actor, Pal had a huge fan following
Born on September 29, 1958, Pal debuted in the Bengali film industry at the age of 22. Usually playing characters that have been wronged, Pal had a huge fan following.
He made his debut in Bollywood with Abodh in 1984 but after the movie flopped, he chose to stick with regional cinema.
In 2009 Assembly polls, Pal lent star power to Trinamool's campaign.
Pal became a parliamentarian, his words sparked major controversy
After Trinamool brought down Left's citadel in Bengal, Pal became a popular politician too. In 2014, he won from Krishnanagar Lok Sabha constituency.
The same year, Pal stoked a major controversy by saying that he would get CPI(M) workers killed and their "women raped" if those affiliated to Trinamool were troubled.
"I will let loose my boys, they will commit rape," he had said.
It was deeply insensitive: Pal said in his apology
Criticized from all quarters, Pal had apologized. "I have no excuses to offer. It was a gross error of judgment and deeply insensitive... It shouldn't have happened. And I assure you it will not happen again," his statement read.
Mamata also said it was a blunder. "He has been cautioned by the party. What else do you want me to do?" she had asked.
In 2016, Pal was arrested for alleged association with scam
Two years after the rape comment, politician Pal found himself in bigger trouble. In 2016, he was arrested in connection to the Rose Valley chit fund scam.
Allegedly, Pal was the former director of the Rose Valley group that is accused of defrauding depositors of Rs. 17,000 crore. After his arrest too, Mamata slammed Centre.
Pal got bail after spending thirteen months behind bars.
They are finishing off people, claimed Mamata
Pal died due to cardiac arrest but Mamata saw it as an opportunity to berate Centre.
"The law must take its own course but this humiliation day after day, whisper campaigns...these are finishing off people. I can't even bear to look at Tapas Pal," Mamata said.
Besides Pal, Sultan Ahmed and the wife of another leader Prasun Banerjee died "due to" Centre, she claimed.
Mamata said agencies can "destroy" a person mentally
"Tapas Pal's death has proved how agencies can destroy a person mentally. He was devastated. He was tortured. He probably never realized his crime. He was a number one film star and he was jailed for a year," she went on.