KOLKATA: Taking a dig at Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who has left for Delhi to meet the prime minister, BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya said Tuesday she sought an appointment with Narendra Modi as a "last-ditch bid to save city's ex-police chief Rajeev Kumar".
Vijayvargiya also claimed that the TMC supremo was aware that "Kumar's arrest would ensure that half of her state cabinet end up in jail" in connection with the multi-crore Saradha chitfund scam.
State Secretariat sources said the West Bengal chief minister will meet the PM on Wednesday.
"Earlier, on each and every issue, she used to abuse Prime Minister Narendra Modi. She even went on to say that she does not feel the need to respect Modiji as the prime minister. She didn't attend the swearing-in ceremony, NITI Aayog meeting and the meeting of the chief ministers. "Why is she seeking a meeting with PM Modi all of a sudden is anybody's guess," Vijayvargiya told reporters here.
The BJP leader maintained that the TMC chief's efforts to save Kumar and other party leaders would yield no result.
"Banerjee is making a desperate attempt to save Rajeev Kumar as she is very well aware that his arrest would ensure that half of her cabinet will land behind bars. But her attempts to save Rajeev Kumar and party leaders from the scam won't yield any result," he asserted.
The last time Modi and Banerjee had met was at the convocation ceremony at Visva Bharati University in Shantiniketan on May 25, 2018.
Terming BJP's claims as baseless, the TMC said Banerjee was well within her rights to meet the prime minister to discuss developmental issues of the state.
"The Bengal BJP leaders should stop making baseless claims. In a federal structure, a chief minister of a state has every right to meet the prime minister. The proposed meeting is aimed at discussing developmental issues related to the state," said a senior TMC leader.
Several TMC leaders and former Kolkata police commissioner Rajeev Kumar have come under the CBI scanner in connection with the Saradha ponzi scam.
The Saradha group of companies had allegedly duped lakhs of people to the tune of Rs 2500 crore, promising higher rates of return on their investments.
Kumar, who is currently the West Bengal CID additional director general, was part of a Special Investigation Team set up by the state government to investigate the scam, before the Supreme Court handed over the case to the CBI in 2014, along with other chit fund cases.