Modi can send me to jail, but can’t browbeat me: Mamata

Kolkata, Nov 21 (IANS) Launching a blistering attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for “threatening political parties”, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday dared him to send her to jail, but said he could not “browbeat” her.

A day after Modi raked up the chit fund scam to hit out at Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress which has been rallying against demonetisation, she said that a Prime Minister needed to be sober.

“The Prime Minister is threatening political parties. We have never seen such things earlier. The Prime Minister should be sober,” Banerjee told the media here.

She alleged that some political parties were keeping silent on the demonetisation issue as Modi was threatening them every day.

“But I am not scared. He can send me to jail, because he is in power. But he cannot browbeat us,” the Trinamool chief said.

Banerjee alleged that some Trinamool leaders were arrested in connection with the chit fund scandal though they had done no wrong.

“My people have been arrested without doing any wrong, because it’s a vendetta of the central government.”

Banerjee said the Reserve Bank of India and the Securities and Exchange Board of India were under the central government. “Why didn’t they investigate the chit funds? Why didn’t they take action?”

She said the chit funds were born between 1982 and 2010 when the Communist Party of India-Marxist led Left Front was in power. “But was a single CPI-M leader arrested?”

The CBI, probing the Saradha chit fund scandal, has arrested and quizzed several Trinamool leaders.

Banerjee said the Prime Minister has even threatened his partymen, who are “now very afraid”.

“His party people are also not liking it (the prime minister’s way of work). But they are afraid. They are being browbeaten. Does he believe his own ministers?” she asked.

Alleging there was a “scam” behind the demonetisation initiative, the Chief Minister said the hidden agenda of the government must be brought out in the public domain.

She referred to the frequent changes made to the guidelines for currency transactions over the past few days proved the government was “confused” and lacked a “plan of action”.

“There have already been frequent rollbacks from day one of demonetisation. That means they are confused. There was no planning.”