The West Bengal unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday accused Trinamool Congress leaders of laundering money looted in chit fund scams through the Durga Puja committees, PTI reported.

This came a day after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee criticised the Centre for issuing income tax notices to several Durga Puja committees. She said the party’s leaders would sit on a dharna at Subodh Mallik Square in Kolkata on August 13.

“What is the harm if I-T looks into the money flow in Durga Puja committees?” asked BJP National Secretary Rahul Sinha. “In some puja committees, senior TMC leaders and ministers occupy important positions and use it to launder their black money looted through cut money and chit fund scams. The TMC is afraid that this link might be revealed.”

Sinha accused Banerjee of shedding “crocodile tears” for Durga Puja. “She should be the last person to talk about Durga Puja,” he said. “If she is so bothered about the festival, then why did she stop idol immersions for consecutive years in order to allow Muharram processions in the state?” Sinha claimed the chief minister was more interested in appeasing Muslims than paying attention to Hindu sentiments.

In her tweet on Sunday, Banerjee had said the ruling party was not in favour of Durga Puja being taxed. “This will be a burden on the organisers,” she added. “Bangla government withdrew tax, which was earlier there, on Ganga Sagar Mela. We protest and demand ‘no taxation on Durga pujo and Durga pujo committees’.”