Audio tapes 'reveal' alleged corruption under TMC govt

Leaked audio tapes 'reveal' Mamata's nephew Abhishek Banerjee's alleged involvement in corruption

The BJP cited leaked audiotapes to substantiate their claims of widespread corruption in the state

Mamata Banerjee (left), Abhishek Banerjee (right) file photo. Credit: PTI Photo

In a big development, some audio tapes have come out in public that suggest West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee's nephew and TMC leader Abhishek Banerjee was involved in major corruption in the state.

In the leaked audio tapes accessed by Zee News, coal-scam accusd Anup Majhi's close aide Ganesh Bagaria allegedly spoke about how the alleged corruption, involving coal mining and cattle smuggling, was carried out in the state.

Although the authenticity of the tapes is not verified, this development has stirred a massive political uproar as BJP soon fired salvo at the Mamata-led state government.

BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari on Sunday said that coal mining and cow smuggling are the biggest malpractices and corruption in the history of Bengal, according to a report by news agency ANI.

Citing the leaked audiotapes, he said that such activities are sponsored by the TMC-led state government. "The facts that have come out is a definite proof that the complaints we and others have made are true. Many facts centering the Chief Minister's nephew have come to the fore," he said.

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He alleged that the corruption started around 2012-13 in coal, sand scam and cow smuggling and that TMC leader Vinay Mishra transferred a sum of Rs 950 crore to Mamata Banerjee's nephew Abhishek Banerjee. Mishra was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate recently.

"I have complained many times that coal mafia, Anup Madri aka Lala, runs this racket. A portion of the police that are posted by 'bhaipo' (nephew) through the help of her aunt, those police officials are connected with the coal and sand scam and cow smuggling. Many people from TMC have avoided all questions on Vinay Mishra and this racket," he said.

He added that the audio tapes prove that malpractice and corruption was sponsored by the TMC government. He also alleged that Abhishek Banerjee was the main architect of corrupt practices.

BJP leader Dinesh Trivedi in his address to the media said that the tip of the iceberg is that corruption is institutionalised as there are no jobs. "Each kid knows the extent of corruption in Bengal. People are scared due to tolabaazi (extortion), violence and bribery," he said.

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"When people are aware of this situation, the Chief Minister cannot become Dhritarashtra, and I am not ready to believe that the CM was not aware of it," he added.

BJP's IT cell head said that Mamata Banerjee cannot evade responsibility for what is happening 'under her nose'. "We would be naive to believe that Abhishek Banerjee was presiding over these syndicates and Mamata Banerjee did not know about it," he said.