Suvendu Adhikari and Abhishek Banerjee have been involved in a slanging match on X
West Bengal's Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari and Trinamool Congress MP and National General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee have been involved in a slanging match on X (formerly Twitter) with Suvendu Adhikari setting it off with a post targeting Abhishek Banerjee after the Enforcement Directorate conducted raids on the premises of a firm allegedly connected to Abhishek Banerjee.
"I would like to refresh someone's memory, who keeps repeating that he would voluntarily walk to the gallows and hang himself if the agencies find any evidence of wrongdoing against him; the people of WB aren't bothered about your shenanigans, no need to walk to the gallows, just walk to the Offices of the investigating agencies and cooperate. I hope this is enough to prod your conscience," Mr Adhikari said in a post on X, attaching a copy of a press release by the Enforcement Directorate.
Abhishek Banerjee hit back saying, "I hope this pic is SUFFICIENT to stir YOUR CONSCIENCE! May I inquire as to when are you walking to the offices of the investigating agencies. @dir_ed ? In the post on X, he tagged a photo of Suvendu Adhikari from the infamous Narada tapes where the former TMC and current BJP leader is allegedly seen accepting cash."
To this, Mr Adhikari responded in a post on X saying, "Why don't you ask your beloved uncle Firhad Hakim, grand-uncle Sougata Roy & aunty Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar about this? They seem to be better placed to reply to your query. The image shared by you only shows me holding newspaper, but what I have shared, read it properly, it says during the search operations, various incriminating documents & digital evidence were recovered in connection with M/s Leaps and Bounds Pvt Ltd; a company wherein you were the Director from April 2012 to January 2014; the company which made dubious transactions running into crores of Rupees. Moreover, who are the current Directors? Time is running out for you, use it judiciously."
After this Abhishek Banerjee responded saying, "It's my open challenge to the @dir_ed and @PMOIndia to take action against all FIR named accused in #NARADA starting with YOU! Also, attaching the video just so this visual evidence serve as a resounding reminder of your inherent shamelessness, both in the past and eternally."
Suvendu Adhikari responded to Abhishek Banerjee, but this time dragged in his wife and sister-in-law into the debate as well. "Also, you want to know an unchallenged & well established fact? You have made your close ones & relatives accomplice by making them recipients of Proceeds of Crime. It's a shame that they would probably be considered as accessory to the Recruitment & other Financial Scams. Also, could you please let us know who Rujira Naroola is? Maneka Gambhir? Since you were the Director of Leaps and Bounds, can you kindly enlighten us with the names of the present Directors?"
Abhishek Banerjee's response to this tweet of Suvendu Adhikari was an attempt to show how Suvendu Adhikari has used his family in his politics. "A person who, in a bid to protect themselves from CBI & ED resorted to using their own father and brother as bargaining chips, is hardly in a position to lecture others on the sanctity of family and relationships. BTW which political party do they belong to ?" He also added a smiley at the end.
Suvendu Adhikari hit back saying, "Someone seems to be evading my tough questions as he is at a loss for words. Guilty mind ! I would answer your irrelevant question once you dare to answer what I asked you first. Anyways I don't care for bargaining chips because I hold the aces. By the way can you tell everyone which political party these gentlemen are associated with:- Arjun Singh; MP Barrackpore Mukul Roy; MLA Krishnanagar North Krishna Kalyani; MLA Raiganj Biswajit Das; MLA Bagda Tanmoy Ghosh; MLA Bishnupur Suman Kanjilal; MLA Alipurduar."
Abhishek Banerjee hit back saying "Happy to answer all your questions why don't you just chose a place and time. Will also come with the audio excerpts of your two telephonic communication with one of the alleged accused of coal scam regarding setting & settlement. Let me know if you are up for the challenge."
Now Suvendu Adhikari responded saying, "Why didn't you approach the Hon'ble Court regarding it? Afraid that it might boomerang and bite you back? You have developed the habit of regularly knocking the doors of the Hon'ble Courts so that you can seek protection and evade questioning. For once you could have used this as an opportunity to cooperate in the Coal Scam Investigation, as you have been summoned on more than one occasion regarding it. My challenge is that as a Lawmaker you first come clean, as your name keeps cropping up in every scam. Then we can decide on the other terms. But first come clean..."
The social media exchange between the two leaders ended with a post from Abhishek Banerjee. "Sure. Will submit the same in both HC and SC asking for a voice sampling test to dispel any doubts that may linger. Let us exercise patience and witness the unfolding of events. Stay tuned!" he said.
The TMC, one of the strongest critics of the BJP-led Central government, has backed Opposition leaders facing investigation by Central agencies. Mamata Banerjee has said even said the use of Central agencies against Opposition will not help the BJP get votes.
Accusing the Centre of "illegal political vendetta", Mamata Banerjee said, "You cannot run the country like this. We are citizens of an independent country. The PM boasts when he is abroad that he takes everyone along. And look at the Opposition-ruled states. They are biting us like ants."
The Enforcement Directorate had searched offices of Leaps and Bounds Private Limited in New Alipore, Joka and Thakurpukur on Monday in connection with its probe into alleged irregularities in appointments in government-run and government-aided schools.