The Telegraph
Sunday , August 17 , 2014
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BJP Saradha barb before CM trip

Calcutta, Aug. 16: Siddhartha Nath Singh, the BJP’s Bengal minder, has hurled a Saradha salvo at chief minister Mamata Banerjee a day before her Singapore trip.

“During the five-day trip to Singapore, meetings are scheduled for only one day. What will she be doing for the remaining four days? Is she looking for a safe haven to park Saradha funds?” Singh told reporters on the sidelines of a rally organised by the Bengal BJP’s sports cell.

A senior Trinamul leader refused comment on Singh’s remarks. “Our party won’t react to his comments,” the leader said.

On the sidelines of the rally, Singh criticised the state government for the lack of industry in Bengal. “The state government had organised Bengal Leads (an investor meeting). In reality, it is Bengal bleeds. While there has been no fresh investment, established units are downing shutters in the state,” he said.

Singh’s comments came against the backdrop of the CBI intensifying its raids in the Saradha case. The Enforcement Directorate has summoned Shyamapada Mukherjee, a cabinet minister, in connection with the probe. The central agencies have questioned several politicians.

During her Singapore trip, Mamata is expected to meet Prime Minister Lee Hsein Loong and foreign minister K. Shanmugam. The state government is seeking strategic and investment partnerships in the fields of energy, real estate, hospitality, civil aviation and health care. Apart from some ministers, government officials and industrialists, actor-MP Dev is expected to travel with the chief minister.

Bengal BJP president Rahul Sinha today questioned the need for “an actor” in the chief minister’s Singapore team.

“We have heard an actor is part of the team. What is the need? Will there be gala events in Singapore? Everybody knows the chief minister is more comfortable with actors than industrialists,” Sinha said at the rally.

Singh and the BJP’s Darbhanga MP, former cricketer Kirti Azad, participated in the rally to commemorate the deaths of 16 people in a stampede at the Eden Gardens during an East Bengal-Mohun Bagan match on August 16, 1980.