KOLKATA: The BJP today demanded that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee either come clean over corruption allegations against her nephew and TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee, or step down from her post.
Trinamoool Congress hit back with secretary general Partha Chatterjee saying "Who are they (BJP) to ask Mamata Banerjee to step down? They should know that Banerjee stands for integrity, honesty and courage".
Union minister Prakash Javadekar alleged at a press conference in Delhi that Abhishek had received Rs 1.15 crore when he was director in the firm Leaps and Bounds Pvt Ltd from a realtor Raj Kishore Modi, who is under probe for criminal activities, including land grabbing.
Ironically, Mamata had staged a protest in 2009 demanding the arrest of Raj Kishore and accused him of grabbing land of farmers, the minister added.
"The real shocker is, Mamata who had opposed the permission given to the realtor, later did not withdraw the permission given by the previous CPI(M) government," he said.
"This is an open and shut case of corruption and quid pro quo...and therefore, she (Mamata) has lost her moral right to rule and she has to give convincing answers, otherwise she has to resign," Javadekar said.
The minister further claimed that the address at which Abhishek and his wife, who was also a director in the company, were shown to be staying is the chief minister's official residence at 30B, Harish Chatterjee Road in Kolkata.
"TMC is following 'Vadra-Tejashwi' model of corruption," Javadekar added, referring to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra and RJD's Tejashwi Yadav in Bihar.
"We can conclude that the TMC, which they call Trinamool Congress, really stands for Total Mamata for Corruption...from Sarada to Narada and finally to Mamata," BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said.
Taking a dig at the TMC slogan of 'Ma, Mati, Manush', Patra said, "the reality is 'Aami, Aamar, Aamar parivar' (Me, Mine, My family) for her," and that "it is nepotism at its best".
Linking it to corruption expose of other opposition leaders, including Tejashwi in Bihar, the BJP leader said, "This is the saga of Mahagathbandhan. The Mahagathbandhan what they are projecting for 2019 is a saga of nepotism, corruption and non-performance".
Rejecting BJP's demand, Chatterjee said "Who are they to ask Banerjee to step down? Did they vote us to power? We are answerable to the masses and people have voted us to power," he said.
Chatterjee also challenged Javadekar and Patra to lead a simple life like Banerjee before questioning her integrity and honesty.
"I don't want to comment on the statements made by a bunch of naives who are nothing but baseless leaders. They should know that Mamata Banerjee stands for integrity, honesty and courage," he said.
Mocking the BJP-led government at the Centre, Chatterjee said "Those who regularly pursue anti-people policies one after the other should not talk much about our party".
He also accused the Modi government of resorting to "strong arm tactics with the help of central agencies".
"Whenever an opposition party tries to speak up against Modi government, they use CBI and ED against it. But such tactics will not work in Bengal," he said.