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House furore over Shah name in Sahara diary

Having spewed venom at the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata on Sunday, BJP president Amit Shah did not have to wait for long for a retaliatory attack. The saffron party leader found himself in an embarrassing situation on Monday after Trinamool Congress (TMC) MPs made levelled allegations inside and outside Parliament that Shah’s name was found in a ‘red diary’ seized during the probe in Sahara scam. They demanded a fair and transparent probe in the matter.

Sources said, soon after Sahara chief Subrata Roy’s arrest on February 28, 2014 (who is still behind bars), several raids were conducted by CBI and in one of the raids reportedly in Lucknow a huge amount of cash and a ‘red diary’ were seized from the Sahara office. Claiming that the ‘red diary’ contained Amit Saha’s name and another in a code ‘NM’, TMC leaders raised the issue in both the Houses for a probe and demanded a reply from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

TMC MPs stormed the well of the House in Rajya Sabha and shouted slogans in Lok Sabha as well. They demanded a clarification from the house and suspension of the Question Hour in the Upper House. Party leaders were seen flashing dummies of the ‘red diary’ in Rajya Sabha saying, “It was recovered during raids on Sahara premises that has names of NM and Amit Shah.” Holding placards TMC leaders Derek O’Brien and Sudip Bandhopadhyay besides others held a demonstration outside Parliament alleging links between Shah and Sahara in the money laundering case.

“It is a fact that a ‘red diary’ was recovered by the CBI during searches at Sahara’s office. Why is our Prime Minister silent on the issue,’ Bandhopadhyay told the media persons outside Parliament.

Raising the issue in Rajya Sabha as soon as it met for the day, Trinamool MPs demanded a discussion over the CBI’s investigation against Shah in the Sahara case. However, their demand was rejected by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, which was followed with a ruckus in the House. Trinamool MPs came near the Speaker’s podium, carrying dummy diaries which had ‘Sahara’ written on it and raised slogans of “Narendra Modi jawab do”. They also alleged that the Centre was using the CBI to settle political vendetta.

In the meantime, BJP leaders countered the allegations and had a scuffle with the TMC MPs forcing the Speaker to intervene. “They (Trinamool MPs) have decided not to follow the rules,” she said. After protesting for a few minutes, the TMC MPs staged a walkout.

Reacting over the allegation, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju, however, denied the presence of the ‘red diary’. “These are baseless allegations and there is no truth in it. No such diary was recovered,” he said.
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