Not averse to joining hands with CPI-M to fight Modi government: Mamata

Kolkata, Nov 12 (IANS) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday created a stir by urging her long-standing political rival CPI-M to join a united opposition in the fight against the Narendra Modi led government on the demonetisation issue.

Addressing the media after making a round of some banks and ATMs and speaking to the people standing in queues, Banerjee called upon the opposition parties to unite against the Modi government on the burning issue “in the greater interest of the nation”.

The Trinamool Congress supremo said she even has no problem in working with the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M).

“I have told my party to work with all other parties. Even the CPI-M, which may be my ideological opponent… I have basic differences with them, if need be the Congress, CPI-M, (BSP supremo) Mayawati, we should work together in greater interest,” she said.

However, the CPI-M rejected the overture saying it could not join hands with a party which had tainted ministers and parliament members.

Refering to the Saradha ponzi scam and the purported sting operation conducted by the Narada news, state CPI-M secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra said: “How can we participate in a movement with a party whose ministers and MPs are involved in such scandals.

“It does not behove those who are running a party through graft and extortion to protest against black money.”

The multi billion rupee Saradha ponzi scam came to light in 2013 when the group’s companies downed shutters without repaying lakhs of investors, who had parked their hard-earned money in the group’s companies, lured by the promise of astronomically high returns. The Central Bureau of Investigation, probing the case, arrested and quizzed a number of ministers, leaders and parliament members belonging to the ruling Trinamool for their alleged involvement in the scandal.

Tapes aired by Narada News in March purportedly showed several high profile Trinamool leaders accepting bribes.

Banerjee on Saturday claimed the CBI “unnecessarily arrested our people, though there is nothing against them”.

She also disclosed that after the Narendra Modi led BJP government came to power at the centre in 2014, the Income Tax department has sent three notices to Trinamool and other parties.

“They are sending IT notices to all political parties. My party has got three notices, and we have replied.”

Calling the Modi government “vindictivea, she attacked centre’s ruling party, saying: “Who has more black money than the BJP?”