Lok Sabha polls: Trinamool alleges BJP leaders using NIA to target its party leaders

Lok Sabha polls: Trinamool alleges BJP leaders using NIA to target its party leaders

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| Photo Credit: VIJAY SONEJI

Trinamool Congress on Friday alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidates contesting the Lok Sabha polls are conspiring with the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to have certain leaders of the State’s ruling party arrested ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. Trinamool Congress spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said that two BJP candidates have held a meeting with the NIA officer in Kolkata regarding summon and arrest of Trinamool Congress leaders in the State’s Purba Medinipur district.

Referring to an NIA official, Mr. Ghosh asked whether two BJP leaders met the official and “handed over a list of @AITCofficial leaders and workers for immediate summon and arrest, or not”.

The Trinamool Congress also asked “whether the NIA is planning for a raid and arrest some @AITCofficial workers tomorrow according to a list given by BJP or not”. The allegations come at a time when the NIA has issued notice to eight persons to appear before the agency in connection with an explosion at Purba Medinipur district. Earlier on March 28, summons were issued by the NIA to four persons to appear before the investigation agency.

The blast at the house of Trinamool Congress panchayat pradhan at Bhupatinagar in December 2022 had claimed three lives. Purba Medinipur, where two seats Kanthi and Tamluk are up for grabs during the Lok Sabha polls, has emerged as a prestige contest between the BJP and Trinamool Congress. A home turf of BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari, former Judge Abhijit Gangopadhyay is contesting from Tamluk while Mr. Adhikari’s brother Soumendu Adhikari is contesting from Kanthi. Trinamool has fielded Debangshu Bhattacharya from Tamluk and Uttam Barik from Kanthi.

While political parties in the Opposition have raised allegations of targeting their leaders as an attempt of political vendetta against Central agencies, particularly the Enforcement Directorate and Central Bureau of Investigation, the Trinamool Congress has raised allegations against the NIA.

During the day, a five-member All India Trinamool Congress delegation comprising senior leaders approached the Election Commission and sought the poll body’s intervention in BJP’s continued misuse of Central agencies against Opposition leaders ahead of the crucial 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

The delegation – comprising MPs Derek O’Brien, Dola Sen, Saket Gokhale, Sagarika Ghose, and MLA Dr Shashi Panja – submitted a memorandum on the matter and has sought another appointment to discuss the issue in detail.

“On behalf of AITC, we have submitted a memorandum today to the Election Commission of India and we thank them for accepting it. We have sought an appointment from them and we might be granted the same on Monday. A party delegation will visit on Monday and a detailed discussion will be held, based on the letter submitted today.” Trinamool Congress leader Sashi Panja said.

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