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BJP hits back at Mamata, dares her to name CBI officers who 'threatened' TMC leaders


KOLKATA: West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh dared Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday to name the CBI officers, who had allegedly threatened TMC leaders to join the saffron camp.

Addressing the Martyrs' Day rally here on Sunday, Banerjee, who is also the Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo, alleged that central agencies were threatening leaders and elected representatives of her party to "get in touch" with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) or face a jail term in chit fund scams.

She, however, did not name any central agency.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) are separately probing two multi-crore-rupee Ponzi scheme cases in West Bengal.

"Today, she (Banerjee) alleged that CBI officers had asked her party workers to get in touch with the BJP or face imprisonment in connection with chit fund scams. I challenge her to name the CBI officers, who threatened her party leaders. "If she is unable to name any officer, she should refrain from making baseless allegations," Ghosh said at a press conference here.

Reacting to Banerjee's allegation that the BJP was luring TMC MLAs with an amount of Rs two crore and a petrol pump, Ghosh said none of them, not even the chief minister, had such a high "market value".

Banerjee alleged on Sunday that the saffron party was trying to "replicate Karnataka's horse-trading model" in Bengal by offering Rs two crore in cash and a petrol pump each to her party MLAs.

"None of the TMC MLAs has such a high market value. Even if they stand idle on the road, no one would be interested in buying them. Not even Banerjee has such a high market value," Ghosh said.

He claimed that the rally organised by the TMC annually witnessed the lowest turnout in its history this year.

"It is clear that people have rejected Mamata Banerjee and her party," the state BJP chief said.

The Martyrs' Day rally is organised by the TMC every year on July 21 in memory of the 13 Youth Congress activists, who were killed in police firing in 1993 during the Left Front regime in West Bengal.

Banerjee was a Youth Congress leader at that time.