Kolkata tragedy: BJP alleges fraud, seeks CBI probe

Kolkata, April 1 (IANS) Calling the Kolkata flyover tragedy an “act of fraud protected by the West Bengal government”, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday sought a CBI inquiry into the incident.

Addressing mediapersons here, Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi also accused the Mamata Banerjee government of neither informing nor seeking assistance from the central government.

The charge was rubbished by the ruling Trinamool Congress.

“The project was initiated during Left regime. So the scam that started under the Left was continued by the Trinamool. The corruption nexus of the Left Front and the Trinamool has been exposed,” Naqvi said.

“It’s a clear case of corruption. A blacklisted company was given the contract, and it kept enjoying protection first from the Left and then from the TMC.”

He said the state government tried to protect the fraud involved in awarding the contract for building the Vivekananda Road Flyover in Posta area that collapsed on Thursday, leaving 24 people dead.

“The company says the tragedy is act of god. Actually it is act of fraud, fraud protected by the TMC government.

“The project reeks of massive corruption… We demand a CBI probe,” said Naqvi.

The flyover’s foundation was laid in 2008 and work began in February 2009 when the Left Front was in power in the state. It was to be completed by 2010 but continued to be incomplete until it collapsed on Thursday.

The BJP leader accused Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of dealing with the tragedy in “non-serious way”.

“There was a causal approach, rather criminal negligence, on the part of the state government. The government neither bothered to inform the centre nor sought any help. But the centre on its own, without losing any time, sent rescue teams.

“The way Mamata Banerjee sat on a ‘dharna’ at the site instead of allowing relief and rescue work is very unfortunate. How can she treat a massive human tragedy in such a non-serious way?” asked Naqvi.

Trinamool Rajya Sabha member Derek O’Brien said: “The BJP minister’s statement reeks of cheap politics in election season. The army came at the state’s request. The army belongs to the nation, not the BJP.”

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