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GST, note ban damaged businesses of even pakoda sellers, says Mamata Banerjee

Accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party of trying to divide people of Bengal along communal lines, the West Bengal chief minister said Hindus do not need to listen to their lecture on Hinduism.

india Updated: Feb 13, 2018 20:06 IST
Indo Asian News Service, Kolkata
Mamata Banerjee,GST,Note ban
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee addresses a gathering in Kolkata. (PTI file)

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday took a jibe at the Centre over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remark that a person selling pakodas (fritters) is employed, and said steps like demonetisation and Goods and Services Tax (GST) by the NDA government have destroyed all business opportunities in the country including those of the “pakoda sellers”.

“First they have destroyed people’s savings in the name of demonetisation and then burdened the people with taxes even on small items. Now they are asking people to eat pakodas and sell pakodas. But how would people do that?” Banerjee said at a public meeting in Nadia district.

“Even a pakoda seller must have some capacity to make and sell them. All the business opportunities have been destroyed,” she fumed.

Accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of trying to divide people of Bengal along communal lines, Banerjee said Hindus do not need to listen to BJP’s lecture on Hinduism.

“Please do not get involved in any communal riots. Do not listen to BJP and attack anybody’s house. BJP is a political party born in 1984, how can they lecture us about the origin of Hinduism? Hindu religion is into existence for thousands of years,” Banerjee said.

“They (BJP) will go away after creating tension amongst yourselves. Do you think they would care if people die?” she asked.

The Trinamool Congress supremo also warned people against resorting to violence for petty issues and sought help from the local clubs to keep an eye on such trouble mongers.

“Our government does not bow down its head to anyone, it is not a cowardly government. Such things will not be tolerated,” she added.

Talking about tourism opportunities in the district, Banerjee said Nabadwip would be turned into a heritage city while a world heritage centre would be built in Mayapur, the headquarters of ISKCON.

First Published: Feb 13, 2018 20:06 IST