Calcutta: Calling allegations of a steady increase in the assets of Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders and ministers as “misleading”, the party on Wednesday accused the BJP, the left and Congress of running “half-hearted” campaigns. truth” on the issue.
A Calcutta High Court division bench on Monday ordered the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) to be a party to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) over the assets and ownership details of 19 heavyweight executives , including seven current ministers from Bengal. The PIL was filed in February 2017, seeking an investigation into the increase in the holdings of ministers and leaders between 2011 and 2016, disproportionate to known sources of income.
“We provided a full statement of our source of income when filing our tax returns. There is nothing wrong if there is an increase in income. I have a business of my own, plus a salary and benefits as a minister. A deceptive campaign has been deliberately organized to slander us. They are spreading half-truths,” TMC chief Firhad Hakim said.
Hakim, who is also the mayor of Kolkata and the minister of urban development, said they had no say in the court order and had full confidence in the judiciary. “We just wanted to highlight the political tricks played by the opposition parties. This is not a matter of public interest. The case was made out of political interest,” he added.
Taking a cue from Hakim, TMC chief Bratya Basu said the court order also mentioned Congress and CPI(M) leaders, but the names of TMC leaders and ministers were raised in a manner. selectively to damage the image of the party in power. Bengal.
Holding up the copy of the verdict, Basu said: “It is correct. There are the names of 19 Trinamool leaders, ministers and MPs. It is true. But the name of Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury (President of the Congress of the State) is in this same judgment. His The same goes for Surjya Kanta Mishra (former Secretary of State of the CPM and former Minister), Ashok Bhattacharya (former Minister under the former Left Front government), Kanti Ganguly (former minister under the leftist regime), Abu Hena (former minister of state and head of congress) and others.”
TMC chief Moloy Ghatak, who is also the state justice minister, claimed there was nothing abnormal about the increase in assets. Asset prices will naturally rebound after five years. If you have a fixed deposit, of course, in five years, its value will increase due to the accumulation of interest. We declared everything to the tax department. If there is something illegal, let the tax department report it,” Ghatak added.
Referring to the recent arrest of party leader Partha Chatterjee by the ED over teacher recruitment, Hakim said, “I am ashamed of what Partha Chatterjee has done. It’s not the same person we’ve known for years. That’s not to say everyone at TMC is a thief. We have dedicated ourselves to serve the people of this state and have gone through many struggles under the leadership of our leader Mamata Banerjee.
Besides Hakim, Basu and Ghatak, the other three TMC leaders who were present at the press conference at the State Legislative Assembly on Wednesday were Jyotipriya Mallick, Arup Roy and Seuli Saha.