Mukul Roy, the founding member of Trinamool Congress who recently joined the BJP, Friday targeted Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on several issues, ranging from Saradha scam to the dengue outbreak in the state. Speaking at a rally in Rani Rashmoni Road in Kolkata in his first public meeting after joining BJP, Roy alleged that Mamata met Saradha Group chairman Sudipto Sen several times, and that Sen had agreed to invest Rs 840 crore in several sectors. He further alleged that Biswa Bangla, a state government entity, is actually “owned” by Mamata’s nephew and Diamond Harbour MP Abhishek Banerjee.
Mamata and the state government were quick to call the allegations baseless. Roy said, “Everyone asked me why I left Trinamool. I answer today. Mamata Banerjee has changed. The promises which were made to the people before coming to power were not kept. I was present at the meeting in Delo Bunglow (in Kalimpong) with Kunal Ghosh(suspended Trinamool Rajya Sabha MP) when she met Sudipto Sen. She met Sen several times, including at a Bengali newspaper’s office and at the residence of Suvaprassanna (renowned painter known to be close to Mamata). Sen agreed to invest Rs 840 crore in media, tourism and buying ambulances.”
“At a time the state is reeling under dengue and the disease has claimed more than 80 lives, the CM is busy celebrating film festivals. Late CM Jyoti Basu took summer vacations to London. Our CM now is doing the same. She and her cronies, including journalists, travel abroad frequently. But not one industrialist has come to Bengal,” said Roy. Waving a bunch of papers, Roy said, “Recently, we saw World Cup football in Kolkata sponsored by Biswa Bangla. Biswa Bangla is not a government entity. It is a company owned by Abhishek Banerjee. In Trinamool, all hoardings, pamphlets and banners are printed by a company owned by Abhishek. He also owns party mouthpiece Jago Bangla. I have papers to prove it.”
He added that Trinamool “has turned into a private limited company”. Roy also alleged that a Durga Puja committee headed by Trinamool secretary general and state Education Minister Partha Chatterjee had chit fund companies as its corporate sponsors.
State BJP president Dilip Ghosh and BJP general secretary in charge of West Bengal Kailash Vijayvargiya were present at the meeting. The West Bengal CM said in her address at the inaugural ceremony of 23rd Kolkata International Film Festival, “Some people raise questions why we organise film festivals? Why should we not? Should we also stop organising Durga puja and Kali puja and other festivals?… People who always indulge in politics by holding party flags should know how to embrace culture. Let us forgive people who are jealous of our achievements.”
She added: “I travel abroad once a year to attract investment for the state. This year, we went to Netherlands because United Nations awarded our Kanyashree scheme. If we did not go, it would have been an insult to the state… “ Reacting to Roy’s allegations, state home secretary Atri Bhattacharya said, “The Biswa Bangla brand and logo were designed by Mamata Banerjee who allowed the West Bengal government to use it for public purpose. It is registered with the government. The allegations are false and baseless.”
Trinamool secretary general Chatterjee said at a press meet, “He (Mukul) wants cheap publicity. We allow youths to come in the party leadership. He did not want. There were several allegations against him. People who betray and lie are thrown into garbage by the people of Bengal. The government has reacted on Biswa Bangla. As for Jago Bangla, everyone is aware how Mamata Banerjee started it with her own money and who are on its advisory board. Everything he said is baseless. Let there be an investigation.” Sanjay Basu, Abhishek’s counsel said, “The public statement made by Mukul Roy against Abhishek Banerjee is completely devoid of any truth. We shall take the strictest possible legal steps against him soon.”