Mamata Banerjee Accuses The BJP Of Corruption And Using Central Agencies To Threaten TMC Leaders

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New Delhi: In a fresh attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on July 21, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee accused the ruling party at the Centre of corruption and using central agencies to “threaten” Trinamool Congress’s (TMC) leaders.

Addressing the TMC’s annual Martyrs’ Day rally, held to commemorate the death of 13 Congress workers in Kolkata Police firing in 1993, Banerjee demanded that BJP leaders return the black money allegedly “siphoned off” by them.

“You [BJP] spent billions during the Lok Sabha elections and in the construction of your party office in Delhi. How much property have you purchased with black money in Bengal after demonetisation? Return all the black money to the people,” the 64-year-old said in the state capital.

The TMC chief’s comments come against the backdrop of an ongoing political tussle in the state over ‘cut money’. On June 18, while addressing municipal councillors from Kolkata, Banerjee said that TMC leaders and public representatives must return “cut money” or illegal commissions extorted from the beneficiaries of welfare schemes. Several TMC leaders returned “cut money” after Banerjee’s directive, prompting the BJP to accuse the state’s ruling party of widespread corruption.

Mounting a counter-attack on the BJP, Banerjee said: “I simply asked my leaders to ensure that common people are not exploited. I have documents which prove that BJP leaders made millions out of the Centre’s Ujjwala scheme. Dacoits are now talking of cut money.”

She asked her party cadre to launch a state-wide stir from July 26, demanding that BJP leaders return black money to the people.

The BJP was quick to rebut the Bengal CM’s allegations, with its state unit chief, Dilip Ghosh, stating: “TMC is losing ground and today’s flop show proved that. She is free to investigate if she has proof (of corruption) against us.”

During the rally, Banerjee also accused central agencies of working at the behest of the Centre. “Central agencies are threatening our leaders and some people they interrogated over chit fund cases and asking them to get in touch with BJP leaders or face a prison term,” she said.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) are probing two multi-crore Ponzi scheme cases—Rose Valley and Sarada chit fund—in West Bengal.

 

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