TMC vs NIA: Agency's Kolkata SP called to Delhi after BJP leader 'carrying envelope' met him

DIG Rakesh Roshan has been given the additional charge of West Bengal

PTI04_09_2024_000158B Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders staging a dharna outside the Election Commissions office, shout slogans during their protest at Mandir Marg police station, in New Delhi | PTI

As the scuffle between West Bengal's ruling TMC and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) intensifies, a top official of NIA in Kolkata has been called to NIA headquarters in Delhi. Shortly after, the agency appointed a new DIG-ranked officer at its Kolkata office to supervise the cases.

SP Dhan Ram Singh was called to Delhi via a midnight order from the headquarters. Singh took the early morning flight on Wednesday. Sources with the NIA said it was a "routine visit" and not a "recall" order. The NIA is yet to officially respond to the reports though DIG Rakesh Roshan has been given the additional charge of West Bengal. He flew down to Kolkata from Odisha on Tuesday evening.

The developments came as the TMC, in a memorandum to the Election Commission, alleged that the BJP was misusing the NIA to target its political opponents. The TMC also claimed it had footage of BJP leader  Jitendra Tiwari meeting SP Singh at his residence on March 26.

The TMC also submitted a copy of the visitor’s register at Singh’s residence with evidence of Tiwari's visit. The party said Tiwar was seen entering the residence with an envelope in his hand. An hour later, he was seen leaving empty-handed.

TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh, accompanied by state minister Chandrima Bhattacharya, held a press conference wherein he alleged that Tiwari was indeed carrying money in the white envelope. Tiwari is a former TMC leader who switched sides with the BJP some years back.

Meanwhile, the former mayor of Asansol Municipal Corporation, called the allegations baseless. "If it is proved that we held any such meeting, then I will leave politics. Feeling the pressure, the TMC is trying to brand the NIA raid as a political conspiracy. According to the laws of our country, they (TMC) should prove the allegations against me. Apologise if you can’t prove it, or I will file a defamation case within seven days," he was quoted by The Indian Express.

Tiwari added, "My party has already made our stand clear. People of Asansol love Modi ji. The candidate doesn’t matter; the vote will go to BJP only. However, whoever is the BJP candidate, my role will definitely be vital. Maybe that’s why the TMC, out of frustration, is doing this."

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