Kolkata: After Bashirhat, a new front opened on Thursday in the BJP-Trinamool Congress war in Bengal with the state police summoning BJP lawmaker Roopa Ganguly and national secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya for questioning in a child trafficking case.
On 19 February, the police had registered a case of child trafficking under at the Jalpaiguri Kotwali police station on the basis of a complaint by the apex Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA) against a home for children called Sishu Griho by an NGO.
On March 1, police arrested a local BJP leader, Juhi Chowdhury, for allegedly helping the owner of Shishu Griho with trafficking. Her call records allegedly indicated she persuaded Ms Ganguly and Mr Vijayvargiya to use their influence to ensure funding and support for the home.
The state BJP chief, Dilip Ghosh, suspects a Trinamool design behind the summons because a third BJP leader, Samik Bhattacharya, too, has been asked to meet the police on Friday. This, not for the adoption row but because an alleged BJP worker used Mr Bhattacharya's office at Bashirhat to conduct a fraud. Mr Bhattacharya is the former BJP MLA from Bashirhat.
"Our Bashirhat leader will go to the CID and we will give a fitting reply," said Mr Ghosh.
The West Bengal Police, meanwhile, is already under the scanner for filing an FIR against Delhi University professor Rakesh Sinha just because he was tagged in a tweet posted by BJP leader Nupur Sharma on Bashirhat. "Why an FIR against Mr Sinha," said his lawyer in Kolkata, Mr Brajesh Jha, who is seeking anticipatory bail.
"Mr Sinha tweeted that Nupur Sharma's tweet on Bashirhat was not correct. Still have filed an FIR against him. It is mala fide," said Mr Jha
BJP believes the summons are tit for tat for the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate calling a string of Trinamool leaders named in the Narada sting for questioning. On Tuesday, Kolkata's mayor and minister Sovan Chatterjee is expected at Enforcement Directorate's office. Three others have been summoned the week after. Trinamool lawmaker Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar denied CBI claims that they called on her home on Friday.
What Mamata Banerjee says at her annual mega rally in Kolkata on Friday could be key.