On Tuesday, BJP’s West Bengal Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari upped the ante by demanding a CBI enquiry into what he calls a scam into MNREGS fund allocation in the state. Speaking to News18, Adhikari stressed that TMC’s top brass siphoned off the alleged ill-gotten money abroad, which could be of “any scams”.
“Yes. All (ill-gotten money) are siphoned off. I can’t say what’s from coal (money received from alleged coal scam) or MNREGS (alleged MNREGS scam). It is the job of the agencies. That is not my job,” Adhikari told News18 while responding to a question on the alleged money trail.
Both the CBI and ED are probing the alleged coal scam in West Bengal. But Adhikari also wants the CBI to look into the MNREGS scam under which fake jobs were allegedly created for which money has been paid.
Adhikari alleged that the total amount is in tune of crores of rupees, which ended up in TMC hands — a charge the party has vehemently denied in the past calling it “few aberrations at best”.
While holding a press conference on Tuesday, Adhikari called the TMC leadership holding a protest in Delhi as “drama” and referred to them as “goondas from Kolkata”.
Trinamool Congress leader Abhishek Banerjee is leading the TMC protest in Delhi for MGNREGA funds on October 3, in open defiance of an Enforcement Directorate (ED) summons on the date in connection with the school jobs scam in Kolkata.
The TMC has accused the BJP-led NDA government of withholding Rs 15,000 crore in MNREGS dues for which it protested at Raj Ghat on Monday and Jantar Mantar on Tuesday.
Ahead of the TMC meeting with MoS rural development Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti on Tuesday, under whose ministry MGNREGS falls, Adhikari had scheduled a meeting with her at 4 pm to demand the CBI probe. Adhikari called TMC’s Delhi protest a “political campaign” to counter its “receding mass base”.
In Bengal, the TMC wants to create a perception that the state is being deliberately neglected by the Centre. No wonder that the BJP wants to answer it politically as well.
Adhikari is also expected to meet home minister Amit Shah later in the evening where he is likely to brief him about BJP’s counter strategy.