West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's statement giving clean chit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the alleged misuse of central agencies against her party and family has triggered the Congress and CPI (M), which slammed her for going soft on Modi.
Though she came hard on BJP for the ED and CBI investigations, Mamata sprung a surprise when she said she didn't believe Modi had any role in these.
In response, Congress leader and MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, a fierce critic of Mamata, called her a "Trojan horse" in the opposition fold, reported NDTV. He said Mamata has lost "the impression of integrity and honesty" and was "shuddering with fear because she knows where the shoe pinches."
"Mamata is holding out an olive branch to PM out of desperation. The reason is obvious. When the ruling dispensation of West Bengal has been confronting the investigating agencies, who have been acting at the behest of the court, the TMC itself has been rattled," he added.
Chowdhury said there was "nothing new" in Mamata's statement as she was once a part of the NDA. "So the relationship is not new at all," he said.
Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate too had questioned Mamata's intentions for "giving a clean chit to the prime minister at a time when the entire country was raising questions on the issue of misuse of agencies."
"In this government of rulers sitting in Delhi, nothing moves without the approval of Prime Minister Modi. When you give a clean chit to the prime minister, somewhere you are acquitting him of the charges on which the country is asking questions today," she added.
Meanwhile, CPI (M) too attacked the Chief Minister, taking a dig at Trinamool's "chemistry" with PM Modi.
"People who do not know the internal events and chemistry of the Trinamool Congress or Mamata Banerjee with PM Modi or others might be upset. But we, who have information... are not upset," CPI (M) leader Sujan Chakraborty told reporters. He said Mamata and Trinamool Congress were "born as an offshoot of RSS in 1998."
As for the BJP, Mamata's statement was "an attempt at appeasement." No one in the BJP, let alone the Prime Minister, needs any validation from Mamata Banerjee," the party said.
Meanwhile, sources in the Trinamool Congress have clarified Mamata's statement saying there was "no question of going soft on PM Modi." The Chief Minister was only speaking from the point of view of the industry, as she is trying to bring investment to Bengal, the party sources said.
Earlier, Mamata's statement giving a clean chit to Modi had surprised many. According to TMC sources, Mamata's target was Union Home Minister Amit Shah and not Modi.