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Vijayvargiya, Roopa on Bengal CID radar. But will this tit-for-tat backfire?

Anurag Dey | Updated on: 22 July 2017, 20:47 IST
(Arya Sharma/Catch News)

The tit-for-tat approach of the Mamata Banerjee administration to initiate criminal action against prominent BJP leaders may prove to be a misadventure for the West Bengal’s ruling All India Trinamool Congress (AITC).

Days after a host of prominent Trinamool leaders, including state ministers, were summoned by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for questioning in the Narada sting scandal, West Bengal's Criminal Investigation Department (CID) made moves to question Kailash Vijayvargiya, a BJP general secretary, and Rajya Sabha member Roopa Ganguly in a child trafficking case.

The case involves the trafficking of at least 17 children through shady adoption deals. A series of arrests including that of BJP activists led to the names of Ganguly and Vijayvargiya surfacing in the case. The prime accused and BJP women’s wing member Juhi Chowdhury, post her arrest, revealed her connection with Ganguly.

The CID notice to the duo comes in the wake of the BJP baying for the dismissal of the Mamata Banerjee government over the recent communal violence in Basirhat and rising “Jihadi elements” in the state.

The police had earlier booked Delhi BJP leader Nupur Sharma and arrested a state BJP functionary for allegedly instituting communal tension by circulating fake pictures. It also initiated a case on similar grounds against RSS ideologue and Delhi University Professor Rakesh Sinha.

Power tussle

Both Vijayvargiya and Ganguly have accused Chief Minister Banerjee of using the administration to crush the Opposition in the state.

“Mamata and her entire Trinamool is neck deep into corruption and they are pointing fingers at us. She must first get her house in order instead of misusing the administration in her bid to crush the Opposition,” said Vijayvargiya.

“She can file as many cases as she wants but that cannot deter us from our fight. She soon will realise her mistake,” said Vijayvargiya claiming that the resentment against AITC was growing and the time is not far when they will uproot the Mamata regime.

While the arrest of the BJP leaders seems unlikely, informed sources say the investigators have clinching evidence against Trinamool leaders caught in the Narada sting, and the agencies are likely to make a definitive move.

Having already having grilled Trinamool MP Sultan Ahmed and his brother and Bengal MLA Iqbal Ahmed, the ED has now summoned three state ministers – Suvendu Adhikari, Subrata Mukherjee and Firhad Hakim.

On the other hand, the CBI has called MP Saugata Roy and Subrata Mukherjee for questioning.

The CBI recently interrogated Narada News chief Mathew Samuel who had conducted the sting that showed over a dozen Trinamool leaders accepting a bribe.

With Mamata going all guns blazing against the Modi government and giving a call for 'BJP Quit India' movement, any arrest in the Narada case could well take the wind out of AITC's sail.

Also read: 'BJP Bharat chhodo': Mamata issues clarion call, will backanyone to oust Modi

Addressing a mega rally in Kolkata on Friday, Mamata announced the launch of a three-week long movement from 9 August and said Modi will be ousted in 2019.

At the height of Mamata’s anti-demonetisation campaign, her party’s Lok Sabha members Sudip Bandyopadhyay and Tapas Paul were arrested by the CBI in January for their alleged complicity in the Rose Valley chit fund scam.

“Half of the Trinamool has already been in jail in the chit fund scam. Very soon more of their leaders will be behind bars,” said a BJP leader.

Observers feel the possibility of the central agencies making an arrest in Narada sting was “very high”, Ganguly too said the police action against herself and Vijayvargiya, was a reaction to that fear.

“They are rattled, they know they are guilty and can’t get away. The whole world has seen how they shamelessly took money. After putting our party activists in jail on false charges, the Trinamool is now increasingly targeting the leaders. Apprehensive that cannot escape the long arm of the law, the Trinamool is now desperate and doing all these,” said Ganguly.

The Narada News chief too exuded the confidence of the all the Trinamool leaders involved in the scandal were going to be behind bars soon.

“The tapes clearly showed them taking money, and it has already been proved in the Calcutta High Court that the tapes are genuine. Besides the leaders themselves admitting that they accepted money, both the CBI and the ED have clinching evidence against them. So it is only a matter of time,” said Samuel who was questioned by the CBI multiple times as well.

First published: 22 July 2017, 18:47 IST
 
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