Kolkata: Hours after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee blamed "agencies" under the central government for actor-turned-politician Tapas Pal's death, Union Minister Babul Supriyo slammed her for playing politics over the death.
Supriyo questioned why Banerjee had paid a visit to Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay in April 2017 when he was in custody and under treatment at a private hospital in Bhubaneswar, but had failed to extend the courtesy to Pal.
"Tapas Pal was also admitted to the same hospital in Bhubaneswar and was recovering in a cabin close to Bandyopadhyay’s. Then, why did she only meet Bandyopadhyay and not Pal?" aseked Supriyo.
"It is unfortunate she is doing politics even after his death. She shouldn't have said whatever she had said today while paying condolences to him at Rabindra Sadan," he added.
While paying condolences to Pal in Kolkata, Banerjee earlier on Wednesday claimed his sudden death is due to "pressure from the agency (CBI)".
"The CBI and the BJP are playing a dirty game. They are playing a vindictive game. We lost three persons due to agency pressure. We lost our leader Sultan Ahmed (minister for tourism in the Manmohan Singh government), we lost the wife of Trinamool MP Prasun Banerjee, and now we lost Tapas. All three died due to the agency's (CBI) pressure," she said.
Banerjee claimed that Pal was sent to jail for more than a year without any chargesheet. "The government's strategy is only to harass people in the name of the agency," she said.
West Bengal BJP President Dilip Ghosh also criticised the state's ruling party, claiming no one paid any attention when Pal was suffering over the last few years. "I personally believe that the TMC is responsible for whatever happened to him. He worked on Mamata Banerjee's instructions and she is now accusing the Centre," he said.
"Some leaders were arrested for their links in the Saradha and Narada chit fund case and some will be arrested in future. The TMC has maligned the soil of Bengal," said Ghosh.
Banerjee drew criticism from veteran CPI(M) leader Amiya Patra who also blamed her party for Pal's death. "Tapas made a mistake when he joined the TMC. Whoever joined the TMC has been devastated. Now, she (Mamata) is talking rubbish," he said.
Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury accused Banerjee of playing politics. "She should not make such comments because whatever happened to Tapas was because of the TMC," he said.