1:21 pm - Sunday August 19, 2018

Trinamool targets Amit Shah in Parliament, to hold huge counter-rally in Kolkata

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A day after Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah launched a scathing attack on West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on her home turf, Trinamool Congress launched a counter-attack in Parliament and will hold a public meeting in Kolkata.

Placard-wielding Trinamool MPs held a demonstration outside Parliament on Monday demanding a probe into alleged links between Shah and the Sahara money laundering case. They also tried to storm the well of Rajya Sabha to press their demand.

TMC leader Sudeep Bandhopadhyay alleged Shah’s name was mentioned in a red diary recovered by the Central Bureau of Investigation during searches at Sahara’s office. The party also demanded a clarification from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue.

Minister of state for home affairs Kiren Rijiju, however, denied the presence of the “red diary”.

“These are political allegations. There is no truth in it. No such diary was recovered,” said Rijiju.

Trinamool leaders are also set to hold a public meeting at 1pm in Kolkata to counter Shah’s allegations against Banerjee at the same spot where he held his rally on Sunday.

Shah had sounded the poll bugle to oust Trinamool from the state in the 2015 Kolkata Municipal Corporation and 2016 assembly elections and called for a Trinamool-free Bengal.

The BJP’s rise in Bengal has sparked speculations about new equations in the state’s political arena where the saffron brigade was only a fringe player until recently.

However, banking on Modi’s poll promises on development, the party bagged an impressive 16.8% vote share in the April-May Lok Sabha elections. Even though the BJP won just two of the 42 seats, it made an impact.

Frequent clashes between BJP and Trinamool supporters have been reported in West Bengal since the polls.

The BJP chief’s address came at a time when the ruling Trinamool is reeling under graft allegations in the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam and the Burdwan blasts on October 2 that killed two alleged militants from Bangladesh.

Addressing the rally that saw a crowd of two lakh people, Shah had attacked Banerjee over the Saradha case, terrorist activities as well as lack of development in the state.

The TMC on Sunday had refused to attach much importance to Shah’s rally and described it as a ‘grand flop show’.

The city police, West Bengal fire department and the Kolkata Municipal Corporation had denied permission for the event at the Victoria House, where the ruling Trinamool usually organises its annual martyrs’ day rally.

An intervention by the Calcutta high court saw the BJP getting the nod only at the eleventh hour.

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