Kolkata: A purported WhatsApp audio clip, where an alleged BJP worker is heard quoting the “rate” for nominating a candidate in the upcoming civic elections, has gone viral resulting in a political slugfest with the Trinamool Congress using it in a twitter post while the BJP has denounced it as fake and claimed it has been “engineered” to malign it.

The WhatsApp conversation purportedly showed one person inquiring the “rate” for being nominated as a candidate in upcoming civic polls and an alleged saffron party worker quoting a price of Rs 1 lakh for each of a dozen nominations which the caller sought. The clip goes on to a negotiation on the “price” with the saffron party worker expressing his inability to lower it, citing the name of BJP state leaders.

BJP state President Sukanta Majumder however said none of his party members have been involved in such a conversation and it was engineered by Trinamool Congress to malign his party.

PTI could not independently verify the authenticity of the audio link.

As the WhatsApp audio went viral, TMC went to town with the issue and tweeted on its official handle – @BJP4Bengal is demanding one lakh for each candidate. @DrSukantaBJP, is this how you collect funds for your propaganda? SHOCKING!

TMC state General Secretary Kunal Ghosh said “shouldn’t comment on the issue. Anyway it reminds us about what a veteran BJP leader Tathagata Roy said about the role of money in candidate selection by BJP during the last assembly polls.”

He said central investigating agencies like CBI or ED should go into such reports about money playing a role in candidate selection for polls.

BJP President Majumdar who iterated it was a conspiracy to malign BJP ahead of the Municipal Corporation polls, said “our candidate selection is done after a thorough screening process involving different layers of party hierarchy.” 

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