Adhir Chowdhury, the West Bengal Pradesh Congress president and railway minister in the outgoing UPA-II government, Saturday alleged that two Trinamool Congress MPs recently met BJP national president Rajnath Singh and “struck a deal” for concessions should the BJP form the next government.
The TMC immediately issued a rebuttal, describing Adhir’s remarks as “outrageous.” Party spokesperson Derek O Brien said: “He is a liar. He is liar. He is a liar.”
The PCC president underlined that the TMC MPs sought an assurance from Rajnath Singh that the new government, if formed by the BJP, will not pursue the Saradha case as was threatened by its PM nominee, Narendra Modi, at a public rally in Serampore in Hooghly during his last visit to West Bengal. “Should the BJP government come to power at the Centre, it would ensure that the (Saradha) culprits are givenpunishment,” Modi had said.
However, Rajnath Singh, who was in the state Friday, projected a different stand during his public addresses at Naihati in North 24-Parganas and Birlapur in South 24-Parganas.
He categorically offered to give West Bengal “special economic packages” in the event of BJP forming the government at the Centre.
A special economic package is what Chief Minister Mamata Banerje’e had been asking for from the UPA-II government, as the state is steeped into a heavy loan burden left behind by the CPM government.
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The Centre-run Enforcement Directorate is at present pursuing the Saradha scam. The inquiry has come as an embarrassment for the TMC with the issue resurfacing before the Lok Sabha polls and public anger palpable at many places .
A TMC candidate for the Lok Sabha polls — Arpita Ghosh — has already been summoned to the ED office and questioned for hours for her links with one of the media houses owned by Saradha chief Sudipta Sen.