TMC minister Jyotipriya Mallick said, “I’m a victim of a great conspiracy,” following her ED arrest for a “ration scam.”

One day after the investigators searched two of the minister’s homes, the minister was taken into custody.

Jyotipriya Mallick, a West Bengal minister and leader of the Trinamool Congress, was taken into custody by the Enforcement Directorate on Thursday. This comes a day after the federal investigation agency searched his Salt Lake, Kolkata, home in relation to a multi-crore ration distribution fraud that has been reported in the state.

The investigative agency said in a statement, “West Bengal minister Jyotipriya Mallick has been arrested by ED in connection with an alleged case of corruption in rationing distribution.”

Prior to this, Mallick was the state’s food ministry portfolio holder in the TMC government headed by Mamata Banerjee. At now, he is in charge of the industrial rehabilitation, public enterprises, and forests portfolios.

According to the Times of India, Mallick responded to his detention by claiming he was the “victim of a grave conspiracy” as he was being escorted away by ED agents.

Previously, Mamata Banerjee attacked the Center for its alleged “misuse of government agencies” to “unleash vendetta” and disseminate false information on those who criticize the government.

The chief minister threatened to file a FIR with the ED and BJP if anything were to happen to mallick.

Numerous corruption allegations against TMC leaders have put the state administration under scrutiny. In relation to allegations of corruption in teacher recruitment, former West Bengal education minister Partha Chatterjee and his assistant Arpita Mukherjee were detained earlier this year.

The ED had detained businessman Bakibur Rahaman on October 14 at his residence in Kaikhali, on the eastern outskirts of Kolkata, in connection with the purported ration fraud.

Officials from the ED claim that Rahaman and Mallick are closely connected.

It is said that Rahman used to provide wholesalers with less quantities of wheat and rice. Later, the remaining amount was sold on the open market.

For three days, ED conducted search operations at about a dozen Rahaman sites in Nadia and 24 north Parganas districts.

The locations included rice and flour mills, a three-star hotel and a bar owned by Rahaman, ED officials had said.

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