Mamata flays Centre over demonetisation, arrest of Trinamool MP

Kolkata, Dec 30 (IANS) Reiterating her demand for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s resignation, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday batted for the formation of a national government, comprising all major political parties, till the next general elections.

She went all guns blazing against the Modi government over demonetisation and the arrest of Trinamool Congress MP Tapas Paul by CBI in the Rose Valley chit fund scam.

Banerjee, also the Trinamool Congress supremo, fired salvos at Modi and targeted the BJP on a day which co-coincided with Modi’s self-set 50-day demonetisation deadline.

“A national government (comprising all parties) may be formed, if required, to govern the country till the next general elections. The country is not safe under this government,” she said.

Referring to Paul’s arrest, a furious Banerjee said it was obvious that someone from her party would be arrested on the 50th day deadline as the central agencies are functioning under “instructions” from the BJP government.

“I knew that they would arrest someone from our party today as we plan to intensify our protest post the 50-day deadline of the demonetisation. I have the documents from CBI and Enforcement Directorate (ED) that clearly state who all are in their list,” she claimed.

Banerjee also accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of having association with a chit fund scam and dared the Modi government to arrest her and her party MPs and legislators.

“I don’t care if they arrest all my MPs. Let them arrest me. I will not be surprised if they arrest all our MPs. Arrest all my MPs. How many MLAs will you arrest? You do not need to summon us. We are ready to present ourselves,” Banerjee said.

“The SEBI and RBI did not act against the chit fund companies,” she said.

“BJP is connected to Pearl group chit fund scam worth Rs 50,000 crore. (BJP leaders) Babul Supriyo and Rupa Ganguly also were associated with Rose Valley,” she claimed, likening the situation to the “terror of pre-Independence era.”

She asserted that Trinamool leader Sudip Bandopadhyay, who too was summoned by the central agency in the same case, has not done anything wrong and would definitely appear before the CBI.

She said Paul’s arrest reeks of political vendetta as the party is protesting against the Centre over demonetisation while slamming the Modi government for failing to restore normalcy by Friday.

“111 people have lost their lives. How many BJP leaders visited their house? Why is RBI not disclosing how much money has been released to which state?”

“People have been misled. Your 50 days are up and you have failed in your ‘agni pariksha’. The PM must apologise to the nation and step down. If BJP thinks they have majority, then make someone else the PM,” she said.

She said Modi and the BJP “despise” the poor, the scheduled caste and tribes and the minorities.

Banerjee also flayed Modi for naming e-wallet app BHIM after BR Ambedkar.

“How could the government name a lottery app in the name of Babasaheb Ambedkar who is the architect of the Indian Constitution? They have no right to insult the statesmen of the country and hurt the sentiments of the Scheduled Castes in the country,” she said.

Asked about the ongoing rift within the ruling Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh, ahead of the elections, she said she doesn’t want to comment on any party’s internal matter.

“… but I will be happy if BJP is defeated. BJP must be defeated in UP, Punjab, Uttarakhand and wherever there are elections,” she added.