Alleging “political vendetta” by the BJP, Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress has claimed that its spokesperson Saket Gokhale has been arrested by Gujarat Police over a tweet about the Morbi bridge collapse.
The party did not specify which tweet, but the government’s fact-check unit had recently pinpointed Mr Gokhale’s tweet in which he shared what looked like newspaper clippings saying “RTI revealed the PM’s visit to Morbi cost Rs 30 crore”.
“This claim is fake,” the Press Information Bureau said in its fact-check of December 1.
Quoting an RTI, It is being claimed in a tweet that PM’s visit to Morbi cost ₹30 cr.#PIBFactCheck
▪️ This claim is #Fake.
▪️ No such RTI response has been given. pic.twitter.com/CEVgvWgGTv
— PIB Fact Check (@PIBFactCheck) December 1, 2022
Saket Gokhale had taken a Monday night flight from New Delhi to Jaipur in Rajasthan, from where he was “picked up” by Gujarat Police, tweeted Derek O’Brien, a senior leader of Bengal’s ruling party.
TMC national spokesperson @SaketGokhale arrested by Gujarat Police.
Saket took a 9pm flight from New Delhi to Jaipur on Mon. When he landed, Gujarat Police was at the airport in Rajasthan waiting for him and picked him up. 1/3
— Derek O’Brien | ডেরেক ও’ব্রায়েন (@derekobrienmp) December 6, 2022
“At 2 in the morning on Tuesday, he called his Ma and told her that they are taking him to Ahmedabad and he would reach Ahmedabad by noon today. The police let him make that one two-minute phone call and then confiscated his phone and all his belongings,” Mr O’Brien further said.
He said the case against the RTI activist-turned-politician has been “cooked up by the Ahmedabad [police] cyber cell about Saket’s tweet on the Morbi bridge collapse”. He did not say which tweet.
In Gujarat’s Morbi town, a colonial-era suspension bridge collapsed on October 30, killing over 130 people, just four days after it was reopened upon renovation. The probe has pointed towards failure of the municipal authorities as the renovation contractor allegedly did not follow the norms.
The Rajya Sabha member further said: “All this cannot silence All India Trinamool Congress and the Opposition. BJP taking political vendetta to another level.”
Neither the BJP nor the Gujarat government has reacted yet.
News agency PTI contacted Jaipur airport police in-charge Digpal Singh, who said: “I have no information. Nobody informed us.”