Railway Ministry Led By Mamata Had Favoured IVRCL: BJP

New Delhi: BJP on Tuesday sought to corner West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee over the flyover collapse in Kolkata, claiming that Railway Ministry under her stewardship had awarded a contract in 2011 to the same firm which is facing a probe in connection with the incident.

Noting that Ms Banerjee had blamed the previous Left Front government in the state for awarding the flyover contract to the private firm, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra questioned her over awarding railway contract to IVRCL in 2011 and also raked up a sting operation to accuse her of destroying the state.

“You awarded this contract in 2011 to the same company IVRCL and how conveniently that you go to the site when the bridge collapse and say it is not me or my government. Mamataji you will have to answer. You people gave contract to the same blacklisted company,” he told a press conference.

The contract of over Rs. 761 crore for building a tunnel connecting Kashmir and Jammu regions was given by her before she quit as a Railway Minister to become the state Chief Minister in May, 2011 and the Ministry was given to another Trinamool Congress leader, he said.

Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority in a communication in December, 2012, had said that IVRCL was not to blame for jumping the deadline, Patra claimed to underline the TMC government’s “bias” towards the firm and sought the chief minister’s reply.

Raking up a sting operation, he said the Kolkata Mayor, who is also from TMC, claimed that construction material for projects come from a “syndicate” of party leaders and supporters.

It is such action that led to the collapse of the flyover, Patra alleged.

Such syndicates are one of the “worst kept secrets” of Bengal about which nobody wants to complain because they are scared of the administration that abets corruption, he charged.

“If you are subdued, then you become a partner in their black deeds.”

These syndicates were there during the Left rule too but institutionalised by TMC, Patra alleged, adding that the state government made budgetary allocation of Rs. 115 crore for them.