With ‘half-educated leaders’ barb, Mamata dares PM to prove paintings charge
At a public rally in West Bengal, BJP president Amit Shah had alleged that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s paintings were bought by tainted chit fund owners for crores of rupees.Updated: Jan 31, 2019 14:20 IST
Birbhum, West Bengal
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday dared the Prime Minister to prove the BJP’s charge that she had got money from selling her paintings to chit fund owners, as she launched a no-holds-barred attack on the rival party accusing it making false allegations to make “Begalis fight Bengalis”.
“Half-educated leaders from Delhi” without having any knowledge about the culture and customs of West Bengal were levelling allegations against her government, Banerjee alleged, hitting back at the BJP a day after its chief Amit Shah at a public meeting in East Midnapore district targeted her government’s functioning.
Shah had alleged Banerjee’s paintings were bought by tainted chit fund owners for crores of rupees.
Banerjee on Wednesday said that the BJP leaders have no courtesy and her party has issued defamation notice over their “baseless” allegations.
Vowing to continue her fight, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief said she has never bowed to anybody’s threats. She alleged the BJP is trying to run parallel governments in states not ruled by it and said that she will happy to see the BJP-led central government “expire politically”.
“Modi Babu (Prime Minister Narendra Modi). I can challenge you to prove that I have taken a single penny (using my paintings) in my account.
“You (BJP leaders) talk like a barbarian and have no minimum courtesy. Our party has sent a notice to him yesterday. If needed we will file a defamation suit against him (Amit Shah),” Banerjee said addressing a public distribution programme of the state government here, A TMC minister had Tuesday issued a defamation notice to Shah for his paintings allegations against Banerjee.
“Look at their audacity. How can they state this allegation? I have fought in my entire life since my younger days. I have never bowed down in front of anybody. I am not scared against any form of threat,” Banerjee fumed.
She also hit out at BJP leaders for claiming that her government has copied central government schemes and challenged them to prove it.
“Some half-educated leaders from (New) Delhi are spreading such lies. They are claiming that we have copied the central government schemes. I challenge them to prove that or bid good bye to politics. We started Kanyashree in 2013 while their (the Centre’s) most-hyped Beti Bachao scheme was set up in 2015,” she said.
Comparing the two schemes, she said that the state government has spent Rs 7000 crores for the Kanyashree since its inception “while the Centre has a budget of Rs 100 crores allotting only 3 paisa for each girl”.
“You pay like you are paying alms. I do not pay alms,” she said.
Kanyashree Prakalpa is a conditional cash transfer scheme with the aim of improving the status and well being of the girl child in West Bengal by incentivizing schooling of all teenage girls and delaying their marriages until the age of 18.
Refuting Shah’s allegations that Durga pujas and Saraswati pujas could not be held in West Bengal, Banerjee said such rumours were spread only to make “Bengalis fight Bengalis” and challenged the BJP to prove its claims.
“They are alleging that Durga pujas and Saraswati pujas are not held here. Thousands of Durga pujas are held across the state and every school organises Saraswati pujas. How dare they make such false allegations? I challenge them to prove it or leave politics. If you can, then I will leave politics,” she said.
The West Bengal Chief Minister again alleged that central agencies like the CBI were being used to threaten opposition leaders.
“We have agencies like the CID, Economic offences unit or the STF. Have you taken any action against those of your party who are linked to child trafficking case or in the LPG dealership scam. Do not think we will be sitting quiet. I have specific documents (in such cases),” she said.
“They are sending IT notice to Durga puja organisers in West Bengal. Can you send such notices to Ganesh puja committees in Mumbai? You are targeting (West) Bengal? What about puja committees in Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra,” Banerjee said lashing out at BJP-led government at the Centre.
She accused the BJP of trying to destroy the federal structure of the country.
“You (the BJP-led central government) are trying to run a parallel government in all the states which are governed by opposition parties only to destroy the federal set up of the nation. Even Naveen Patnaik (Odisha CM) alleged a few days ago,” she said.
Claiming that the BJP would not get a single seat in the upcoming general elections in West Bengal, she said, “Your (BJP-led central government) expiry date has been declared. Please expire politically. We will be very happy to see.” West Bengal has a total of 42 Lok Sabha seats. BJP president Amit Shah has given a target to state unit to win 23 of them. The TMC had won 34 seats in the 2014 general elections.
First Published: Jan 31, 2019 13:49 IST