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Former TMC leader sends legal notice to Suvendu Adhikari over tweets

The notice by former Trinamool leader Vinay Mishra alleges that the remarks in the BJP leader’s posts were false, malicious, and slanderous
UPDATED ON JUN 15, 2021 01:51 PM IST
BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari. (File photo)

Former Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Vinay Mishra, who is among the accused in the alleged cattle smuggling and coal mining scams in West Bengal, has sent a legal notice to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Suvendu Adhikari for his social posts against the former on June 11.

The notice sent through advocate Ayan Poddar alleged that the remarks in the posts were false, malicious, and slanderous.

Adhikari, who is also the Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly, refused to comment.

On June 11, Adhikari tweeted: “In year 2018 Vinay Mishra seems to be a Citizen of VANUATU and renouncing Indian citizenship. In year 2020 the same person is made the General Secretary of TMC Youth wing. Drawing the kind attention of ECI (Election Commission of India), Does Indian law permits a foreigner to be a part of a political party?”

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Poddar, in the notice to Adhikar, said Mishra left India on September 16, 2020, much before the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) registered a case against him.

“My client (Mishra) was a citizen of India when he was appointed as a General Secretary of the West Bengal Pradesh Trinamool Youth Congress Committee on July 23, 2020,” Poddar said. He added Mishra resigned from his post prior to surrendering his Indian citizenship on December 19, 2020.

Poddar said an Indian passport was issued to Mishra on September 5, 2018, and he did not hold citizenship in any other country in 2018.

“Be that as it may, I on behalf of my client call upon you to immediately delete the tweet published by you and abstain from any further acts of intentionally spreading lies and falsehood against my client. Furthermore, I have instructions to take appropriate steps against you for illegal acts which have resulted in a wrongful loss to my client and his reputation,” Poddar said.

The CBI is trying to locate Mishra through an Interpol red notice issued against him about two months ago. Reports suggest Mishra may have settled in Vanuatu, a small island nation in the South Pacific.

The Enforcement Directorate arrested Mishra’s brother, Vikas, in March and attached his property.

The BJP has alleged that chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew, Abhishek Banerjee, was involved in the coal smuggling case. TMC and Banerjee have rejected the allegation.

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