A Trinamool Congress leader on Wednesday said the ruling party's archrival CPI(Marxist) was hiring rapists to malign the Mamata Banerjee-led government.
His statement is the latest in a series of political wrangling over crimes against women in the state - an issue that has also seen vociferous protests from the public.
"What is the political identity of Ansar Ali? The CPI(M) should stop pointing fingers at us," State water resources minister Soumen Mahapatra said while addressing a public meeting at Keshiary in West Midnapore on Wednesday.
Mahapatra was referring to the main accused of the recent Kamduni incident which triggered an outrage in the state. "Many of those involved in recent rapes are somehow linked to CPI(M)," Mahaptra said, adding that a section of the media was also complicit in the "ploy".
The Trinamool is braving attacks from all political quarters over the spate of rapes and the fact that the party - including its chief Banerjee - continues to make outlandish claims has only served to embolden the opposition.
In one such controversy, the CM had labelled two women Maoists when they tried to talk to her as she visited the kin of the Kamduni village rape-murder victim.
Earlier, she had said the Park Street rape incident was fabricated and her colleague, Kakali Ghosh Dastidar, an MP had gone to the extent of calling the case a "misunderstanding between a lady and her client."