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NIA working as puppet, BJP using it to settle scores with TMC: Sagarika Ghose

Asked about Shah's statement that the West Bengal government is trying to save those accused in a 2022 bomb blast case, Ghose questioned why arrests are being made in a two-year-old case at the time of elections.
Last Updated : 10 April 2024, 16:09 IST
Last Updated : 10 April 2024, 16:09 IST

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New Delhi: Trinamool Congress MP Sagarika Ghose on Wednesday alleged the ruling BJP is using the NIA to settle scores with her party in West Bengal, and also accused Home Minister Amit Shah of indulging in politics of religion by raising the issue of Citizenship (Amendment) Act.

Asked about Shah's statement that the West Bengal government is trying to save those accused in a 2022 bomb blast case, Ghose questioned why arrests are being made in a two-year-old case at the time of elections.

"The fact is that this is a case from 2022. Two years later, when the Model Code of Conduct is in place, the NIA barges into a village at 3 am, opens doors to homes, harassed women, to try to intimidate the people, and takes away Trinamool's booth-level workers living there. Why has the NIA woken up two years after the incident?" Ghose told PTI.

Addressing an election rally in West Bengal's Balurghat earlier in the day, Shah slammed the TMC government "for trying to save the culprits in the Bhupatinagar bomb blast case" and for filing cases against NIA officials.

"In 2022, a bomb blast took place in Bhupatinagar which killed three people. Those behind the blast must be put behind the bars. When the NIA conducted an investigation into this following a Calcutta High Court order, Mamata Didi registered a case against them (NIA) to protect the perpetrators," he said.

Responding to the allegations, Ghose said, "Why has it (the NIA) woken up when the Model Code of Conduct is in place? Why did the NIA go to that village without informing the local police. They only informed local police at 5.45 am."

"An NIA official, on March 26, met a BJP member from Asansol who gave him a list of TMC functionaries who the NIA is going to act against. The fact is Mr Amit Shah is working with the NIA to attack the Trinamool Congress. The NIA is working as a branch, a puppet of the BJP," she said.

"The BJP is using the NIA to settle scores with BJP in West Bengal against the Trinamool Congress. The NIA is a part of the partisan agenda of the BJP. We are demanding that the head of the NIA be removed and removed now," Ghose added.

Referring to the Bhupatinagar incident in Purba Medninipur district where an NIA team was allegedly attacked by a mob, Shah on Wednesday accused West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of trying to protect those involved in the bomb blasts.

A vehicle carrying NIA officials was on Saturday attacked by villagers in Bhupatinagar, where they had gone to investigate a 2022 bomb blast case.

Asked about Shah's accusation that the West Bengal chief minister is "misleading" people on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, she said the home minister is indulging in politics of religion.

"I would like to tell Mr Amit Shah, he is talking about the CAA. As we all know if the CAA is coming, then the NRC (National Register of Citizens) is not far behind. Who was affected by the NRC exercise in West Bengal? Of 19 million people, 13 million declared disenfranchised were Hindus," she said.

"Stop playing this politics of infiltration, ghupathiya, religion... It is time to end this vote bank politics. It is Mr Amit Shah who is playing politics of religion, not us," the TMC MP added.

Shah had made the accusations at an election rally in West Bengal's Balurghat, his first in Bengal since the Lok Sabha polls were announced.

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Published 10 April 2024, 16:09 IST

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