Roy has accused Mamata Banerjee of political vendetta to ‘restrain him’ since he is aware of ‘every wrong’ that Banerjee has allegedly done.

 

The West Bengal government is all set to press for the arrest of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and former Union minister Mukul Roy, whose brother-in-law Srijon Roy was arrested last week for allegedly cheating railway jobs aspirants in 2012, when Roy helmed the Ministry of Railways in the then UPA-2 government.

Roy, on his part, has accused West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of doing “political vendetta” with the aim of “restraining him” since he is aware of “every wrong” that Banerjee has allegedly done.

Last week, Srijon Roy was arrested by a team of Kolkata police. Sources in the BJP said he was arrested on 4 May from outside the South Avenue residence of Mukul Roy in the national capital. Mukul Roy’s house shares its boundary with the house allotted to Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee, nephew of Mamata Banerjee.

Kolkata-based sources said that Srijon, who has been sent to 12 days’ police custody, will be interrogated regarding his alleged modus operandi to cheat aspirants by allegedly promising them jobs in Railways.

Sources also said that the West Bengal police expects Srijon, who was also a close aide of Mukul Roy, to shell out information and credible proof that would establish Mukul Roy’s role in the scam, which was first registered in 2012.

Mukul Roy, however, maintains that he is being victimised. “I have no doubt that it is being done because of political vendetta. He (Srijon Roy) was attached with the Ministry of Railways and there is a rule that before taking any action against him, permission was required from the Central agencies, but they did not take any permission. Mamata is trying to restrain me. I know every wrong that she has done and how she allowed Sarada to enter into Railways, and, hence, she is afraid. This incident happened in 2012; the arrest is being made after six years. I am ready to face any investigation in this matter which is conducted by anyone apart from the West Bengal police. I am challenging Mamata Banerjee on this,” Mukul Roy said.

The West Bengal police hope that once they are able to extract Srijon Roy’s confession and get evidence of Mukul’s involvement, they will press for Mukul Roy’s arrest and at least two weeks’ of police custody to get more details about the alleged scam, sources said.

Mukul Roy, who had joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in November last year, is seen as indispensable to get the BJP its target edge in the state in the 2019 general elctions.

However, the fact the Mukul Roy was unable to avert his brother-in-law’s arrest has led to questions being asked by a section of BJP leaders in the state as to whether the party was serious about offering a challenge to the ruling Trinamool Congress.

“People are saying that if someone like Mulkul da was not able to protect even his own relative, in a clearly politically motivated case, how will he help us when we go to the ground to face the Trinamool Congress? More surprising is the fact that Srijon was arrested from New Delhi. This is also raising questions as to whether the BJP is even serious when it comes to West Bengal?” a party functionary, who had joined the BJP along with Mukul, said.

In West Bengal, the BJP currently holds only two of the state’s 42 Lok Sabha seats, represented by S.S. Ahluwalia (Darjeeling) and Babul Supriyo (Asansol).

“The Trinamool Congress leaders are playing smart politics. They intend to defame Mukul Roy by entangling him in legal cases. This way, he will think twice before campaigning for which he will have to first enter West Bengal. The message that has gone after the arrest of Srijon Roy is that now even Mukul Roy can be arrested. Mamata knows how crucial Mukul Roy is for the BJP for doing well in West Bengal. If she is able to arrest him, which seems very possible now, the BJP will find it hard to do well here,” another party functionary said.

 

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