Updated: April 5, 2021 3:41:48 am
Referring to an audio tape which surfaced on Sunday, BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari launched a scathing attack on West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee and TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee, alleging that they were involved in the coal smuggling case in the state.
The audio tape carries the recording of a purported conversation between an unidentified person and Ganesh Bagaria, an aide of Anup Majhi who is an accused in the coal pilferage scam.
The Indian Express did not independently verify the content of the audio tape and could not confirm its authenticity.
Alleging that TMC leaders received up to Rs 900 crore by dishonest means over 10-12 years, Adhikari at a press conference said, “The TMC and the Chief Minister are directly involved in the coal scam. The CM’s nephew is closely related to Ganesh Bagadia who has serious allegations against him. Another ally of the nephew, Bikash Mishra, has already been arrested. Police officers and IPS officers are all also involved in the case. We want the central agencies probing the case to speed up the investigation.”
— BJP Bengal (@BJP4Bengal) April 4, 2021
Denying the allegations, TMC said that BJP leaders were engaging in a smear campaign to get away from the fact that they were facing an inevitable defeat in the polls.
Senior TMC leader and state minister Subrata Mukherjee said, “The audio tape has not been examined in a forensic laboratory and it has not been established who are the persons they are talking about. Moreover, the tape has not come out in the open directly. BJP leaders are claiming that they have received it. So, we don’t know whether it has been made up to malign our party’s image during election.”
He added, “They know very well that they are losing this election. By bringing our such alleged tapes they are trying to mislead the people and shift the attention of the people from real issues.”
The BJP had earlier released an audiotape in which Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee purportedly seeks help of former TMC member-turned BJP’s Nandigram leader Pralay Pal, allegedly asking him to back her there.
The TMC had hit back by sharing an audio clip of a purported conversation between BJP leaders Mukul Roy and Shishir Bajoria in which a person who the TMC alleges is Roy is heard asking another person — purportedly Bajoria — to appeal to the Election Commission to allow workers from outside as booth agents, as the party does not have enough agents in the state.
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