With the Calcutta High Court order making the Enforcement Directorate party to a PIL alleging the unusual growth of assets of 19 TMC MLAs between 2011 and 2016, the CPI-M has alleged that the chief minister and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee and some of her party leaders changed PAN numbers to hide disproportionate assets while demanding that probe agencies must be watchful of the TMC leaders who frequently travel to Singapore, Dubai and Bangladesh.
The PIL on disproportionate assets against TMC leaders has kicked up a political storm in the state with the ruling party defending itself against attacks by the opposition parties who are now demanding that the party supremo Mamata Banerjee be also brought under the radar of the probe agencies, alleging that her party leaders couldn’t have indulged in rampant corruption without her support.
The criticisms have gained traction, especially in the wake of the arrests of heavyweight Trinamul leaders Partha Chatterjee and Anubrata Mondal in money laundering and smuggling cases, respectively. The CPI-M central committee member Sujan Chakraborty, addressing a press conference, alleged that the PAN card numbers of Mamata and some of the TMC leaders were changed between 2011 and 2016.
He asked, “How can one change PAN card numbers? It’s a criminal offence to have two different PAN numbers. Even if one loses their PAN card, a new one can be obtained with the same number. Were the new PAN numbers used to hide assets, ensuring their names are not attached with these?”
He said a list of about 30 to 31 names of Trinamul leaders with disproportionate assets was presented by the CPI-M in the Assembly to the Speaker who allegedly had to agree that the number of big cars in possession of TMC MLAs is creating an uncomfortable situation.
“We have time and again pointed out that a convoy of cars from Birbhum, Asansol and Bankura used to reach Mamata’s residence at Kalighat in the dead of the night under police supervision. Now with names of TMC heavyweights surfacing in coal and cattle smuggling cases, the connection is becoming apparent” he alleged, adding “The probe agencies need to be watchful of the TMC leaders who frequently travel to Singapore, Dubai and Bangladesh.”
Mr Chakraborty said, “When TMC MLA Madan Mitra was arrested, Mamata and her party leaders hit the street in protest but now with two TMC prominent leaders arrested for criminal offences, the TMC is shamelessly using its youth wing to hit the streets in protests while leaders are nowhere to be seen