Govt returns fire, says Mamata ”helping accused”

New Delhi: Rejecting her allegation that the Centre was pursuing a “selective vendetta” against TMC, Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Monday said that by making such claims, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was “helping” those who are involved in criminal cases.

“I always respect Banerjee. She is a fighter. She has brought a big change in Bengal by ending the CPI(M) rule. We have worked together. By making such allegations against the government of India, she is helping the accused. She should instead purge such people,” he told reporters here.

Naidu insisted that the government has no role in the ongoing investigation into the Saradha chit fund scam, which is being handled by CBI, and the NIA-led probe into the Burdwan blast.

The remarks come on the heels of Banerjee’s blistering attack on the BJP-led NDA government which, she alleged, was misusing the CBI. Regarding the blast case, she has said Bangladeshis are our neighbours and “brothers” and that terrorists have no religion.

“We work for the people. No conspiracy can thwart us.

Whole party (Trinamool Congress) is being blamed for the fault of one or two outsiders,” she had said in Kolkata, adding that she will take her fight to Delhi.

Meanwhile, at a Congress briefing, party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi steered cleared of the issue, saying his party does not react on matters which are sub-judice.

“As far as sub-judice matters are concerned, Saradha and other issues, as a political party we have nothing to say,” he said, adding that there was a perception within TMC that it was being targeted.

“If found to be true, it is liable to be deprecated and we will speak out against it,” Singhvi said.

Another Congress leader said the party was keenly watching the developments in Bengal amid apprehensions.

Banerjee has alleged that she was being victimised because she had last week attended an international conference on Jawaharlal Nehru organised by Congress in the national capital.

Banerjee has accused the NDA government of carrying out a “selective vendetta” against herself and TMC and dared the Centre to arrest her and impose President’s rule in Bengal.

Her outburst followed the arrest of TMC MP Srinjay Bose in connection with the Saradha scam.