The CPI(M) on Saturday accused Trinamool Congress of using black money to fund campaigns of its candidates for the coming assembly polls. Trinamool leaders rubbished the charge.
CPI(M) central committee member and state housing minister Gautam Deb said though Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee went around wearing slippers, she was spending nearly R100 crore on campaigning.
“Mamata Banerjee is highlighted as an symbol of honesty. But I have proof that Rs 100 crore is being used in Trinamool campaigns. Two helicopters are being used. Where is she getting the money from?,” Deb said at a press meet at Kolkata Press Club. He said Banerjee, along with Trinamool general secretary Mukul Roy, had paid Rs 15 lakh to each party candidate illegally.
Deb also accused Roy, the Union Minister of State for Shipping, of illegally transferring money to candidates through false coupons. Demanding Roy’s arrest, he said a complaint to the election commission would be made.
Taking up the recent sale of Banerjee’s paintings for nearly R3 crore, Deb said those who had bought the paintings must show their accounts.
Within hours of Deb’s press meet, Banerjee hit back at a rally in Nadia and said she was ready to reveal details of the party’s campaign expenses to the election commission. She said Deb, whom the Trinamool has dubbed the kingpin of an alleged land scam in Rajarhat, a township near the state capital, had no moral right to accuse the Trinamool of wrongdoing.
Later, Trinamool went on the offensive against Deb, with party general secretary Partho Chatterjee convening a press conference where he questioned the CPI(M) leader’s mental balance. Chatterjee said the party would approach the election commission against Deb over his baseless allegations. “He has lost his mind and is talking rubbish,” Chatterjee said.