West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday challenged the BJP to prove its allegation that her party, the Trinamool Congress, has misappropriated funds sent by the centre to the state, or the Narendra Modi government should resign.
Addressing a programme of NGOs and civil society organisations in Kolkata, the TMC supremo claimed that the language used by BJP leader Amit Shah, who is currently on a visit to the state, smacks of arrogance and does not behove a Union home minister.
“The BJP frequently says that TMC is corrupt, the TMC siphoned off money. It is not Modi’s money. It is sent by one government to another. Then you should not collect taxes from the state and there will be no need to give it back. If you cannot prove the allegation, you will have to resign,” Ms Banerjee said.
“You continuously attack us with pishi-bhaipo (aunt and nephew) jibe. What about your son Mr Shah? Where did he get so much money from?” she said.
She said that Mr Shah has come to West Bengal to speak on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) but she will not allow it to be implemented in the state.
“We always welcome everyone to West Bengal. But the statements made by Amit Shah today is below the belt and speaks of power hunger. I am very clearly stating, such words from the home minister don’t look good,” Ms Banerjee said, without elaborating.
The TMC chief said that she will not utter a word which breaches decorum.
“All political parties should maintain dignity. Courtesy cannot be one-sided. It has to be both ways,” she said.
The Chief Minister accused the BJP of spreading fake news and fake videos on social media to mislead people.
“After looting farmers, after not allowing me to practice my religion, after doing riots, you want Bengal? I will not bow down in front of these people,” she said, attacking BJP.
The Chief Minister said that hooliganism is rampant in states such as UP, Rajasthan and Haryana, but she will not allow it in West Bengal.
“Let Bengal live in peace. The BJP should not be allowed to come to power in the state. I appeal to all to protect the honour of Bengal,” she said.
The assembly election is due in the state in April-May. “I am a street fighter. I will fight to the end,” Ms Banerjee said adding that she is not afraid of the BJP.
“Let’s have a fair play. The Left and the Congress can be in your (the BJP”s) team and we will fight alone. I will only be a goalkeeper and see how many goals you can score,” the TMC boss said.
Ms Banerjee claimed that the people of neighbouring Tripura are regretting voting the saffron party to power.
Farmers and Adivasis are under attack in BJP-ruled states, the chief minister alleged while speaking at the programme of the NGOs.
“The BJP has cancelled licenses of a number of NGOs after coming to power and stopped funds only because their opinions were different from the party. I will request all NGOs, faith based groups, and self help groups to save Bengal’s pride, to save Bengal’s culture,” she said.