BJP state chief Sukanta Majumdar on Thursday alleged that Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders and a state minister have direct links with the accused of the recent seizure of Rs 200 crore worth of narcotics by an Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of the Gujarat Police at the Kolkata Port on September 9.
“Nearly 40kg heroin was supplied in the name of Shariful Enterprises of which Shariful Islam Mollah, a Sandeshkhali resident, is the owner. Shariful is close to Trinamool’s Sandeshkhali Block 1 and 2 presidents Shibu Hazra and Sheikh Shahjahan,” alleged Majumdar and party general secretary Jagannath Chatterjee at a press conference.
Meanwhile, at a separate press conference on the West Bengal Assembly premises, leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari displayed some papers and alleged that there was an “abnormal increase in properties of TMC leaders, including MLA Kultoli Ganesh Chandra Mondol, from South 24 Parganas district”. Abhishek Banerjee is the MP of the Diamond Harbour constituency in the district. Adhikari alleged that the money meant for NREGA and other central schemes was siphoned off.
On September 9, the Gujarat Police ATS had seized 40 kg of heroin — allegedly supplied from Dubai — from the Kolkata Port. The ATS had then alleged that the drug was booked after the Bengal Assembly election results were declared in May last year.
Majumdar and Chatterjee alleged that the drug was not taken away from the port, citing the pollution certificate problem. “When Shariful’s house was raided, he was not there. He might have fled to Bangladesh. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee claims that the state CID is more efficient than the CBI. If so, I would like the state to find Shariful’s whereabouts. A TMC leader close to Shariful, who is the TMC block president of Sandeshkhali, met a state minister 17 to 18 times, recently. The meetings were held after the drug consignment was seized,” they alleged.
“Police could not seize drugs, coming from Afghanistan via Dubai, at the Kolkata Port. The consignment was awaiting an auction. The Gujarat ATS came here and seized it. Where is TMC worker Shariful now? TMC must answer this first. Has he escaped somewhere?” asked Majumdar.
Without naming the state minister, both BJP leaders claimed that the minister’s portfolio was recently changed due to “allegations of corruption” against him.
Majumdar demanded that there should be an investigation into the money earned by Shariful and his sources of income.
Hitting back at Majumdar and Chatterjee, TMC Sandeshkhali Block 2 president Sheikh Shahjahan said, “I am ready for any kind of interrogation by any agency. If they establish my association with any corruption, then I am ready to be hanged. On what basis and evidence, the BJP leaders are linking me to the case? I will drag them to court.”
Meanwhile, releasing documents, which he claimed to have property details of four TMC leaders from South 24 Parganas district, Adhikari alleged, “Ruling party MLA Ganesh Chandra Mondol and leaders Jahangir Khan, Goutam Adhikari and Shamim Mahabed Mollah acquired illegal properties in the past 5-6 years.”
Calling Trinamool a “party full of scammers”, Adhikari said, “Mamata Banerjee recently said that in her party 99.99% of leaders are honest. We will soon prove that 99.99% of leaders in her party are corrupt.”
“This is only beginning. We will release more proofs step by step. I have 49 documents of MLA Gyanesh Chandra Mondal’s illegal properties, Anubrata Mondal’s 13 properties, and Moushami and Roshnini Mondal’s 16 and four properties, respectively,” Adhikari alleged.
Adhikari said he would submit all the documents to the Enforcement Directorate very soon.
Newsletter | Click to get the day’s best explainers in your inbox
Reacting to the BJP leaders’ charges, TMC general secretary Kunal Ghosh said, “Offhand, I cannot say anything. We will have to inquire. But let them go to ED. It’s their agency. I want to ask Sukanto Majumder why Suvendu Adhikari is not arrested despite we all saw he took cash in Narada sting case.”
“Those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones at others. There is personal envy and jealousy against Abhishek Banerjee. Suvendu Adhikari is unable to accept Abhishek Banerjee. Look at the leadership qualities of Abhishek Banerjee, Suvendhu knows he is not worthy of that. BJP is afraid of Abhishek Banerjee it is clear from Suvendhu’s behaviour,” Ghosh told mediapersons,
“@BJP4Bengal IS RATTLED. From one contradictory statement to another, 50 press conferences will not erase the fact that your Nabanna Abhiyaan FAILED. Yes, Mr @SuvenduWB – people of Bengal don’t support filthy politics. That’s why they REJECTED @BJP4India altogether,” tweeted the All India Trinamool Congress.