Kolkata, December 22
After calling him a “Chaiwalla-turned-Paytmwalla,” a couple of days ago, Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday fired corruption salvo at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and dared him to arrest her.
Picking up from where Rahul Gandhi left in his Gujarat rally, a fuming Banerjee said, “this Government thinks every one save its own people are thieves. But we say they are the real thieves.”
In a blunt attack Banerjee referred to the Prime Minister and BJP chief Amit Shah as “panda” (the boss) and “goonda” (the gangster) and said “none but these people are the biggest thief.” If he (the Prime Minister) wants he can put all of us to jail but we will continue to raise our voice against him because he has committed a theft.” The Chief Minister was addressing a large audience at Kolaghat said where she announced a number of developmental projects. Though leading the ‘notebandi’ brouhaha Banerjee’s Wednesday attack was laced with extra venom which experts promptly linked to CBI’s chit fund notice on Tuesday to senior party MP Sudip Bandopadhyay.
Banerjee said there was deep-rooted conspiracy in the demonetisation and wanted to know about the “deal.” She thundered, “we all know that this is a big scam. Now we want to know what this deal is all about. They have impoverished the poor Indians to serve the interests of rich people and now they are targeting the people who are challenging their policy.” The Chief Minister who earlier in the day attacked the Modi Government for ordering I-T raids in the residence of Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary P Rama Mohana Rao calling it “vindictive and unethical.” She wondered “why they are taking this vindictive, unethical, technically improper action? Is it only to disturb the federal structure” asking “Why don’t they raid Amit Shah and others.” Daring the Centre to “touch our officers,” she said, “you don’t have to touch anybody, you arrest me if you can. I challenge you. If you have the guts you arrest all of us but nothing will deter us from raising our voice against demonetisation.”
She added they “are trying to victimise our officers but we warn them against doing so because this may lead to serious consequence,” saying “they must remember that like they are armed with central laws we are armed with State laws and have know how to bring them to use.” Banerjee had on Tuesday attacked the Centre for victimising Sudip Bandopadhyay as she was raising the demonetisation issue. “They are doing so as part of vendetta politics because we are raising voice against demonetisation. But nothing will deter us from this struggle.”
Kolkata, December 22