In a direct attack on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, BJP president Amit Shah on Sunday said her associates and “stooges” are involved in the Saradha scam that has hit over 17 lakh investors and asked her to quit office if she can’t act against the wrongdoers.
Hitting back, the Trinamool Congress raised suspicion over the role of the BJP behind the CBI probe into the scam and said they are keeping a close watch on every move of the agency to ascertain if the ruling party at the Centre had any influence in it.
Asserting that the BJP is not afraid of anyone, Mr. Shah said those involved in the scam will be arrested and put behind bars.
“You (Mamata) are not protesting against duping of 17 lakh investors in the Saradha scam and coming down on the streets, because your own associates and stooges are involved. We need an answer as to who took away the Saradha scam money.
“We are not afraid of anyone because our workers are not involved in any scam. Whether it’s Saradha or anything else, we will do the work of arresting and putting the culprits behind bars,” Mr. Shah told a rally in central Kolkata.
Asking the Chief Minister to reign in her workers and associates who are alegedly involved in corruption and scam, he said, “If you can’t do that then please step down. BJP will provide good governance in Bengal. The countdown has already started and the people of Bengal will show you the way out in the 2016 Assembly polls,” he said.
With barely two years left for the Assembly elections, the BJP chief left no one in doubt that he has already started a campaign to oust the Trinamool Congress government in the State.
“More than 2,000 farmers had lost their land in Nandigram and Singur and you had gone on fast protesting against that injustice. But in this Saradha scam more than 17 lakh people of Bengal have lost their deposits.
“Why don’t you (Mamata) feel like sitting on a fast against this scam? Why aren’t you coming down on the roads for those who lost their savings,” Mr. Shah asked.
The BJP president’s comment comes at a time when the CBI and the ED were tightening their grip in the multi-crore scam probe.
Accusing the erstwhile Left regime of “ruining Bengal”, the BJP president said the much-hyped political change was of no use as both Trinamool and the Left were “cousins”.
TMC to keep tab on CBI
Suspicious about the role of the BJP behind the CBI probe into the Saradha scam, the Trinamool Congress on Sunday said they are keeping a close watch on every move of the agency to ascertain if the ruling party at the Centre had any influence in it.
“We are keeping a close watch on each and every movement by the CBI regarding its probe in the multi-crore Saradha scam to see if the ruling BJP at the Centre is playing any behind-the-scene politics. We shall not make any comment or specific complaint right now,” Trinamool Congress Parliamentary Party leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay told reporters.
“There should not be any politics on CBI. It should be allowed to work impartially without any political pressure. The Prime Minister should ensure that the CBI is not a pawn in the hands of the party in power at the Centre,” he said.
“Let the CBI complete its probe and file charge sheet without any influence or political pressure,” Mr. Bandyopadhyay said.
“This is more important particularly when allegations by suspended party MP Kunal Ghosh involving the TMC chief Mamata Banerjee in the multi-crore scam came up at a time when the BJP party president Amit Shah is visiting the state,” he said.
“After the Assembly by-elections are over, all 45 TMC MPs (except Kunal Ghosh) in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha together will give a deputation to the Prime Minister demanding CBI’s impartial role in the probe.
“If the BJP-led government at the Centre is involved in any conspiracy against us, it will also face the consequence,” Mr. Bandyopadhyay cautioned.