Bharatiya Janata Party legislator and leader of opposition in West Bengal assembly Suvendu Adhikari on Thursday met union home minister Amit Shah and reportedly discussed issues of post-poll violence in the state, implementation of central schemes and the party’s plan to take on the ruling Trinamool Congress in the assembly with the next session beginning on July 2.
The meeting that lasted about 30 minutes was held at Shah’s 6A, Krishna Menon Marg residence in the capital. The two met for the second time in less than a month after Suvendu became the LoP in Bengal: the previous occasion was on June 8 in Delhi.
There are reports that the Bengal BJP leader also met former Trinamool Congress parliamentarian Dinesh Trivedi who is now with the saffron party, and solicitor general Tushar Mehta. The agenda and outcome of the meetings are not known.
The Trinamool Congress in Bengal and the BJP in power at the Centre have been at loggerheads for months since the vitriolic campaigning for this year’s April-May assembly elections in the state that the TMC won by a wide margin. However, chief minister and Trinamool chairperson Mamata Banerjee lost from the Nandigram seat to Suvendu Adhikari, her former party colleague and protege. The two parties have been in a bitter confrontation over the post-poll violence in the state, the acrimonious relationship between the CM and governor Jagdeep Dhankhar who is the Centre’s representative in Bengal, controversy over an abrupt order from the union government to transfer chief secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay, and demands from some BJP leaders to impose President’s rule as well as split the state, among a range of nettlesome disputes.
TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh condemned Suvendu’s meeting with Tushar Mehta and asked how a person like the BJP leader who is allegedly involved in the Narada scandal was being entertained by the solicitor general who is representing the Central Bureau of Investigation in the case.
“He is a CBI lawyer in the Narada case and he is meeting Suvendu Adhikari who is named in the FIR in the Narada case. What is going on? He (Suvendu Adhikari) should be immediately arrested,” he added.
A sting operation was conducted by Narada news portal founder Mathew Samuel for over two years. Ahead of the 2016 assembly elections, he released videos purportedly showing 13 TMC ministers and leaders accepting bribes in return for favours.
West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh said he was unaware of the reasons behind Suvendu’s meetings with Amit Shah and others in the national capital.
“I don’t know why he went to Delhi. Maybe he has some suggestions that he wanted to share with them (the central leaders),” he said.