Kolkata: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Trinamool Congress on Wednesday traded charges on the issue of black money, with the TMC asking the BJP to come clean on their “party leader” Manish Sharma who was arrested with a cash worth 33 lakh.
The BJP, however, claimed that they had suspended him few months back.
“Those who are taking of fighting black money by demonetisation have black money hoarders within their own party. They have given tickets to such criminals,” senior TMC leader and state urban development minister Firhad Hakim told reporters.
“It only shows the true colours of BJP and their fake intention to fight black money. Those who themselves are thieves can’t talk of fighting black money,” Hakim said.
Hakim questioned where Sharma got the amount of Rs 33 lakh and all of it in new currency, at a time when the entire country is reeling under the pressure of scarcity of notes.
Reacting to Hakim’s statement, state BJP President Dilip Ghosh said, “Yes he was our party candidate in the 2016 assembly polls. But he was later suspended on June 30 after allegations were raised against them.”
Sharma was BJP’s candidate in the last assembly polls from the Asansol area of Burdwan district.
“We have more than 40 lakhs members in Bengal. How would we know (everytime) who is a thief and who is a saint,” Ghosh said.
Seven persons including Sharma were arrested on Wednesday in the eastern part of the city for their alleged involvement in smuggling coal.
After a search, several unlicensed firearms, ammunition and Rs 33 lakh in cash were seized from them. Along with Sharma, alleged coal mafia Rajesh Jha, Lokesh Singh, Krishna Murari Kayel, Sayan Majumdar, Partha Chatterjee and Subham Bhowmik were arrested.