In the biggest blow so far to the beleaguered Trinamool Congress, the CBI summoned its key leader Mukul Roy to quiz him in connection with the multi-crore Saradha scam.
Roy, the former rail minister, is considered the second-in-command of the TMC and is the most important organisational manager of the party.
“After returning to Kolkata on Wednesday, I will go to the CBI office,” Roy said in Delhi. “I never did any wrong during my political career and in my personal life. I will answer all their queries.”
Sources said a CBI official called up Roy on Monday and asked him to appear in the agency’s Kolkata office the same day.
“Banerjee sensed that CBI may summon Roy. She had been trying to distribute his responsibilities among other leaders. But till date, she could not find a replacement for Roy,” said a senior leader.
Roy’s summons comes a few months before the prestigious Kolkata civic poll where the general population is perceived to be exasperated with the current regime. “This summon is a further blot on Trinamool’s image,” said a leader.
The TMC has alleged that the CBI is being used as a “political tool” by the Bharatiya Janata Party. “This is blatant vindictiveness. Is the CBI being run by Narendra Modi’s office? Or by Amit Shah at BJP HQ?” said Trinamool spokesperson Derek O’Brian.
The probe has already seen a state minister, two MPs and a party vice-president behind bars while others are being grilled by central agencies. Opposition parties claim it is a matter of time before Banerjee is called for questioning.
Roy was allegedly in touch with the Saradha promoter Sudipta Sen, till the latter fled from West Bengal. Several Trinamool leaders have publicly alleged that Roy had links with Saradha.
“After this Mamata will get a big jolt…I believe in 2015 my prediction of will be Bhaag Mukul Bhaag seems to have come true,” said BJP leader Siddharth Nath Singh, playing on the title of the Hindi film Bhaag Milkha Bhaag.