Bengal Minister Jyotipriyo Mallick was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with an alleged case of corruption in rationing distribution early Friday morning.
Meanwhile, Kolkata is decked up for the grand gala pujo carnival today, where over 100 Durga idols will be paraded, following which, they will be immersed. The program is scheduled to begin at 4:00 pm.
Over 30,000 foreigners came to Bengal to see Durga pujo after the celebration was accorded heritage status by UNESCO. Sources told CNN-News18 that UNESCO representatives as well as foreign dignitaries will also be present for this show.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said, “The carnival is a big event and we are also doing it on district levels. On Friday, a lot of foreigners will be present. This time more than 30 thousand people from all over the world have come to see the carnival.”
Bengal Minister Jyotipriyo Mallick’s arrest by the ED comes on the day of the carnival. He will be taken to the CGO office later today.
Mallick was arrested following a full day of raids at his residence on Thursday in connection with the alleged ration scam.
Mamata Banerjee held a press conference where she alleged that her ministers are being heckled by the central agencies. Mamata is said to attend this carnival after a break of one and a half months as she got hurt in her leg.
“Jyotipriyo is diabetic, if something happens to him then we will have to file an FIR against the central agency and BJP,” she said.
The chief minister on Thursday claimed that the raids at the TMC minister’s house at the time of the pujo were clearly a political vendetta.
During the COVID-19 time, allegations were made that there has been huge corruption in the distribution of rations in the state.
An FIR was initiated in 2022 by ED in connection with the case and then on October 14, 2023, one businessman Bakibur Raheman was arrested. He was a close aide of the minister.
With inputs from News18