KOLKATA: Facing the heat of the cut money agitation, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee sought to turn the tables on the BJP and announced a state-wide protest on July 26 to ask the saffron party to return the black money that she alleged it had siphoned off.
The Trinamool supremo also charged the BJP with attempts to create a Karnataka like situation in Bengal by bribing her party’s MLAs to topple her government and using the CBI to threaten them to join the BJP.
Speaking at a ‘martyr’s day’ rally to commemorate the death of 13 Congress youths in police firing during the Left Front regime in 1993 when she herself was a Congress leader, Mamata said, “It was I who in good faith said no one should make money from government schemes meant for the poor. But the “party of dacoits” (reference to the BJP), is creating unrest in the state by making it an issue. You are talking about cut money! What about your black money? What about the commission that you collected from thebeneficiaries of the Centre’s Ujjwala scheme?”
Claiming the Lok Sabha poll result was “not history, but a mystery”, she said the BJP won by “manipulating” the EVMs.
The annual rally of the Trinamool organised for the last 26 years is an occasion for the party’s show of strength.
In her 50-minute speech, the BJP was the sole target. “Central agencies are threatening our leaders and elected representatives over chit fund scams, asking them to get in touch with the BJP leaders or face prison,” Mamata said. “One of the MLAs of my party was offered `2 crore and a petrol pump... Like in Karnataka, the BJP is indulging in horse trading everywhere,” she said.
Reacting to Mamata’s allegations, BJP state president Dilip Ghosh wondered whether there was any TMC leader worth Rs 2 crore. “Even Mamata does not have such value. I challenge her to bring the MLA in front of me who has been offered a bribe.”