Monday, June 5, 2023
Support Our Journalism
HomePolitics'Cooked-up case' — TMC slams spokesperson Saket Gokhale's arrest by Gujarat cops...

‘Cooked-up case’ — TMC slams spokesperson Saket Gokhale’s arrest by Gujarat cops for ‘Modi tweet’

Gujarat police cyber cell 'filed case against Gokhale for tweeting about expenses incurred for PM Modi's trip to Morbi' following bridge collapse which reportedly killed at least 141 people.

Text Size:

New Delhi: Trinamool Congress national spokesperson Saket Gokhale was arrested by  Gujarat Police late Monday night, the party has said in a statement.

“Saket took a 9 pm flight from New Delhi to Jaipur on Monday. When he landed, Gujarat Police were at the airport in Rajasthan waiting for him and picked him up,” Trinamool’s Derek O’Brien, the Trinamool’s parliamentary leader in Rajya Sabha, said Tuesday.

He added: “At 2 am in the morning on Tuesday, he called his Ma (mother) and told her that they are taking him to Ahmedabad and he would reach Ahmedabad by noon today (Tuesday). The police let him make that one two-minute phone call and then confiscated his phone and all his belongings.”

According to sources in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the party in power in Gujarat, the cyber cell of Gujarat police filed a case against the RTI activist turned politician last week, for tweeting about expenses allegedly incurred for PM Modi’s trip to Morbi in Gujarat, where the collapse of a suspension bridge in October killed at least 141 people, including minors.

Last week Gokhale, purportedly quoting from a Right to Information (RTI) response, had claimed “Modi’s visit to Morbi for a few hours cost Rs 30 crore.” The Trimalool Congress leader had added that around Rs 5.5 crore was spent just on welcoming the PM to Morbi, event management and photography. In comparison, he wrote, the victims had got only Rs 4 lakhs each as compensation.

Gujarat’s state BJP unit had, however, immediately issued a statement refuting the charges calling it “fake” news and claiming that no such RTI was ever filed.

A senior leader of the BJP’s Gujarat unit told ThePrint that the party had filed an FIR against Gokhale on 1 December.

Also read: Mamata says Ajmer-Pushkar railway was her ‘dream project’ but UPA resisted, called it ‘communal’

‘Cooked-up case’

Senior Trinamool leaders called the case registered against Gokhale a “cooked-up” one. O’Brien in his statement added, “The cooked-up case is filed with the Ahmedabad cyber cell about Saket’s tweet on the Morbi bridge collapse. All this cannot silence the All India Trinamool Congress and the Opposition. BJP is taking political vendetta to another level.”

Gokhale, an RTI activist, joined Trinamool Congress in August last year.

The arrest comes at a time when West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee is on a three-day trip to Delhi to attend the PM’s G20 meeting. India assumed the presidency of the G20 group of nations this month.

Banerjee will also chair her party’s parliament strategy meeting while in Delhi and is scheduled to visit the Ajmer Sharif and shrines in Pushkar, both in Rajasthan, Tuesday. Gokhale had landed in Jaipur Monday night to oversee the arrangements for the West Bengal CM’s visit, said a source in Trinamool Congress.

“The Gujarat police were waiting at the airport and the Rajasthan police were in the loop. We will take this up legally and politically,” a senior Trinamool Congress leader told ThePrint.

(Edited by Poulomi Banerjee)

Also read: Godhra a battle of ‘prestige’ for RSS-BJP. Bilkis Bano convicts, 2002, Ram Bhakts are key


Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Support Our Journalism

India needs fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism, packed with on-ground reporting. ThePrint – with exceptional reporters, columnists and editors – is doing just that.

Sustaining this needs support from wonderful readers like you.

Whether you live in India or overseas, you can take a paid subscription by clicking here.

Support Our Journalism

Most Popular