When Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was addressing thousands of her supporters amid the presence of 6,000 police personnel on Saturday, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) wanted one secret about the party to remain under the wraps. 

Not many people know that Manish Gupta, who was the power minister in Mamata’s government and now a sitting MP, was the chief secretary in Jyoti Basu's Left Front government led by the CPM in 1993. 

That was also the year that 13 youth Congress workers were shot dead by the police. It’s their 'martyrdom' that the TMC remembers this day every year.

Martyrs’ Day is observed by TMC on July 21 to pay homage to the workers of the undivided Congress who lost their lives that fateful day. Banerjee, who was then a youth Congress leader, was leading the march when the police opened fire at the demonstrators near the iconic Victoria Memorial.

As the chief secretary, Gupta, who was also the boss of the Kolkata Police, found himself in the eye of the storm at the time.

After the incident, the Congress continued its demonstrations against CM Jyoti Basu and chief secretary Gupta for days.

Today, Gupta is a power minister in Didi’s Cabinet.

A sitting Rajya Sabha member from TMC told MyNation on condition of anonymity, “I have been asked this question several times. Frankly speaking, I have
no answers for that. What do you want me to say? That he shouldn’t be in the party? Of course he shouldn’t be. But what can be done?”

Upon coming to power in 2011, Banerjee constituted a one-member committee under Justice (retired) Sushanta Chatterjee to probe the matter. 

Chatterjee, in his 700-page report, cited the "failure" of civil and police administration as the reason for the murders.

To add to Banerjee’s embarrassment, a reply by Gupta to the Prime Minister’s Office of then incumbent Narasimha Rao, stated "There is no fact or substance to the allegations.”