PATNA: Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das of BJP on Wednesday attacked his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee and accused her of encouraging coal theft in her state.
After visiting Dhanbad to review the preparations for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s scheduled visit of the coal town on May 25, Das said he has asked the state’s police to crack down on coal-laden trucks coming from West Bengal and passing through Jharkhand.
“Large-scale smuggling of coal from many places in West Bengal is continuing unabated. Mamata Banerjee is encouraging this. I have asked the police to seize all trucks carrying coal that is illegally mined and obtained,” said Das to reporters.
Raj Sinha, the BJP legislator from Dhanbad, said scores of trucks carrying illegal coal from Asansol and Raniganj pass through Jharkhand every day. “This is a loot of a precious national resource, and it is taking place under the nose of the authorities of West Bengal. It is our (Jharkhand government’s) duty to prevent this loot in the national interest,” said Sinha to The New Indian Express.
The Jharkhand CM also lashed out at Mamata Banerjee over the alleged attacks on BJP workers in West Bengal and the party’s candidates in the recently concluded panchayat polls there by Trinamool Congress workers.
“There is no democracy left in West Bengal these days. Mamata Banerjee’s party would be routed in the state in the next elections and BJP will come to power there… Jharkhand government will extend all help to BJP workers who fled to the state from Bengal during the panchayat polls,” said Das.
BJP leaders said nearly 200 workers of the party in West Bengal rushed into various districts in Jharkhand to evade violent attacks by Trinamool Congress workers. Many of those BJP workers are still in Jharkhand’s Sahebganj and Pakur districts, they said.
PM Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stones for several projects, including an All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) at Deoghar and a 4,000-mw super thermal power plant at Patratu, in Jharkhand on May 25.