TMC hiding black money in Puja committees, says BJP

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee (PTI Photo)

Scoffing at West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s opposition against the Income Tax (IT) department’s decision of issuing notices to several Durga Puja committees, the BJP state leadership on Monday alleged that TMC leaders involved in these committees use them to cover up their financial misdeeds.

Mamata has announced that TMC will hold a protest on Tuesday against the IT department’s decision.

BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha accused the chief minister of opposing the IT Department’s move to shield the corrupt TMC leaders.

"Some of the Durga Pujas in Kolkata which are controlled by TMC ministers received money from the Saradha Group (of Saradha chit fund scam). It created a lot of noise when Saradha Group owner Sudipta Sen was arrested," Sinha told DH. He added that if the source of this cash is revealed, it will create problems for TMC.

He accused Mamata of trying to cover up the "dirty deeds" of TMC leaders. He justified the IT Department's actions.

BJP state president Dilip Ghosh said that if someone tries to gain illegal wealth through Durga Pujas, it has to be stopped. “If the Income Tax Department summons them and seeks clarification they should cooperate. There is nothing wrong in it,” said Ghosh.

He claimed that the BJP has no intention of “capturing” Durga Pujas in Bengal.

However, ever since its success in the state in the Lok Sabha elections, the BJP has tried to increase its influence among the big-ticket Durga Puja committees. Several such committees have been swinging back and forth between the BJP and the TMC. Durga Pujas are one most effective means of public outreach of TMC.

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