Mamata Banerjee is slated to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi tomorrow.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya on Tuesday took a dig at West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee who is slated to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi tomorrow. He claimed that the Trinamool Congress chief is meeting the PM in “a last-ditch effort” to save former Kolkata police commissioner Rajeev Kumar. The last time that both leaders had met was at a convocation ceremony at Shantiniketan’s Visva Bharati University on May 25 last year. During the general elections earlier this year, Banerjee had refused to meet Modi when the state was under cyclone threat saying she would meet the next PM after polls as elections were underway.
Vijayvargiya said that Banerjee knew well that Kumar’s arrest would lead half of her ministers behind bars in the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam. The TMC in its response to Vijayavargiya termed his claims as baseless, saying that the CM was within her rights to meet the Prime Minister to discuss issues related to development of the state.
In recent times, a number of Trinamool leaders and former city top cop Rajeev Kumar have been under the scanner of the CBI in the Saradha scam. With Kumar still not ready to appear before the CBI, days after Calcutta High Court vacated its previous interim order that gave Kumar protection from arrest in the case, the CBI has moved a Basirhat court seeking a non-bailable warrant against him. Currently serving as West Bengal CID Additional Director General, Kumar was part of a Special Investigation Team that was formed by the state government to probe the scam, before the case was handed over to the CBI in 2014.
The Saradha group allegedly duped lakhs of people of close to Rs 2500 crore, promising a higher return on investing.
The CBI’s attempts to question Rajeev Kumar have previously resulted in a major political battle between the Centre and the TMC. Earlier this year when a CBI team landed at Kumar’s official residence to probe him in the case, the ex-top cop was not found. Some of the sleuths were taken into custody as they had allegedly come without proper documents. However, they were soon let off. What followed was political high drama as Mamata Banerjee came in support of Kumar and sat on a dharna alleging interference by the Centre in government institutions.