The troubles seem to be mounting for the Trinamool Congress. On Friday, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) registered a money-laundering case in the Narada sting operation scam where several Trinamool MPs were reportedly caught on camera accepting money either as bribe or with the intention of laundering it for the person offering the sum.
The development comes less than two weeks after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) booked 13 Trinamool MPs in a case connected to the scam. The 13 MPs are Madan Mitra, Mukul Roy, Saugata Roy, Sultan Ahmed, Iqbal Ahmed, Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, Prasun Banerjee, Suvendu Adhikari, Subrata Mukherjee, Syed Hussain Meerza, Sovan Chatterjee, Firhad Hakim and Apurva Poddar.
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Big blow for Mamata Banerjee
The ED move comes as yet another blow for West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee. She has been dealing with increasing disenchantment among the people of the state, and the ED case against MPs from her party will hamper her efforts to project a more positive image.
Banerjee has been beleaguered over a number of issues for a long time. Besides Narada case, there is the Saradha chit fund scam, which landed several MPs in trouble and some behind the bars. Other controversies that Banerjee has found herself in the crosshairs include alleged communalisation of school text books and religious leaders endorsed by her issuing beheading threats on live television.
Gain for BJP
Mounting troubles for Banerjee have augured well for the BJP, which is looking to make inroads into West Bengal and fill the void created by the political decimation of the Left parties. To that effect, the BJP recently launched the "Ebar Bangla" campaign — the slogan translates to "This time Bengal" — in West Bengal recently.
Even otherwise, the BJP looks set to put up a major fight — if not a downright upset — in the 2021 West Bengal Assembly elections. Why else would it start to campaign so actively in the state even though the Assembly polls are still four years away?