A court in West Bengal on Friday issued summons to Union Home Minister Amit Shah in connection with a defamation case filed against him by Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee, reported Anandabazaar Patrika. The MP/MLA court has asked Shah to appear before it either personally or through a lawyer at 10 am on February 22.

Banerjee had filed the case against Shah under Section 500 of the Indian Penal Code, according to PTI. Banerjee’s lawyer Sanjay Basu claimed that Shah had made defamatory statements against the Trinamool MP on August 11, 2018, at a rally in Kolkata.

The summons has been sent to the Bharatiya Janata Party’s office in Kolkata.

“Our legal team will decide if Amit Shah will appear before the court,” state BJP spokesperson Shamik Bhattacharya told Anandabazaar Patrika. “We will give answers in legal terms as well.” He added that the ruling TMC was unable to fight BJP politically and hence was taking help from courts.

Another BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli said the Trinamool Congress was trying to prevent Shah, and other BJP leaders from campaigning in the state, reported PTI. “This indicates that the TMC leadership is unsettled by the BJP’s campaigning in general and Amit Shah’s in particular which is resonating with the public,” he added. “That is why they are constantly resorting to diversionary tactics to somehow try and prevent him and other BJP leaders from campaigning.”