Kolkata: Hitting out at West Bengal`s ruling Trinamool Congress over the Saradha scam, the BJP Monday slammed the Mamata Banerjee government for "shielding" the perpetrators of the multi-crore rupee scandal.
Alleging involvement of Trinamool leaders in the scam, BJP MP Anurag Thakur also pointed fingers of the sale of a painting by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee that reportedly fetched over Rs 1 crore.
"Only because Trinamool leaders were involved, the Saradha group flourished and managed to dupe lakhs of people. Whenever any company of Trinamool leaders went into losses, the Saradha group would buy that to bail them out," Thakur told media persons here.
Thakur, who is also the president of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, attacked state Transport Minister Madan Mitra who is now behind bars for his alleged complicity in the scam.
"The minister used to repeatedly ask the people to invest in Saradha only because the ultimate benefits reached to people like him in the Trinamool," he said.
Taking the attack to Banerjee, Thakur said: "There is no chief minister in the country who paints and the paintings are sold for crore of rupees. We have heard of (painter) M.F. Husain but here now we have a MB Husain who gets crores for her paintingsa.
During the Lok Sabha polls campaign, the then BJP prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi too had raised the issue of Banerjee`s painting one of which he claimed to have been sold for Rs. 1.86 crore.
BJP leader and union Minister of State for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi accused the Banerjee government of shielding the perpetrators of the scam and asserted his party will come to power in Bengal.
"The Saradha scam is first of its kind in which people`s money, money of the poor and weaker sections, has been looted directly.
"While there is no doubt that those behind this scam deserve strict punishment, unfortunately the Trinamool Congress government is trying to protect them," said Naqvi.