‘Ben­gal will Try To geT mukul roy ar­resTed’

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

The Sunday Guardian - - Nation -

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 con- fes­sion 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. The seizure of 9,742 voter IDs from an apart­ment this week has ex­posed the dark un­der­belly of the elec­tion sys­tem. It has brought to light the ex­is­tence of voter ID syn­di­cates which op­er­ate out of ev­ery ur­ban con­stituency, where vote ID agents do bulk deals in “Cash for Vote”. The process in po­lit­i­cal lingo is called “Slum Book­ing” where a voter ID agent ne­go­ti­ates bulk vote deals in lieu of a pay­ment. What has shocked the peo­ple and the Elec­tion Com­mis­sion is the syn­di­cated ap­proach in “voter man­age­ment” by these “voter ID agents” and po­lit­i­cal par­ties.

The drama that un­folded over the blame game be­tween the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress on seizure of the voter ID cards flashed on TV screens across the coun­try. Both the ma­jor par­ties, Congress and BJP, traded charges. Each tried to shift the blame to the other for be­ing be­hind the syndicate of “voter ID agents”.

The in­ci­dent ex­posed that poll man­age­ment has be­come

Mukul Roy

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