Reveal a/c details, Mamata tells PM

Why don’t you start with yourself and your party chief, asks Bengal CM

Updated - November 29, 2016 11:49 pm IST

Published - November 29, 2016 02:52 pm IST - Lucknow

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at a protest rally against demonetisation, in Lucknow on Tuesday.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at a protest rally against demonetisation, in Lucknow on Tuesday.

Raising the slogan “ notebandi vapas lo , varna Modi vapas jao ” (rollback demonetisation or step back), West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday dared Prime Minister Narendra Modi to first reveal details of his account and land dealings along with that of Amit Shah before seeking similar information from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislators and parliamentarians.

A section of crowd at the rally.

A section of crowd at the rally.

 

Taking her campaign against demonetisation to poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, Ms. Banerjee, in a rally jointly organised by the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP), urged people to respond to “ notebandi ” with “ votebandi ” and give a fitting reply to the BJP-led Centre in the upcoming State elections. “Modi has asked BJP MLAs and MPs to reveal details of their accounts and land purchases. Why don’t you start with yourself and your party chief?” she asked.

Secret ballot

She dared Mr. Modi to conduct a secret ballot among BJP workers to know if they actually support demonetisation. “The period for giving out salaries is approaching. See how many people worship you when they don’t get food to eat...I would apologise to people if I was in your place,” she said referring to the PM repeatedly urging people to bear with the inconvenience.

Stating that a large number of properties were bought in the name of the BJP and its president, she questioned the BJP’s alleged purchase of land worth crores of rupees in Bihar, weeks ahead of the implementation of demonetisation on November 8. “Who is a chhupa rustum ? Are we all thieves and you a big saint?” Ms. Banerjee asked the PM. The TMC chief also alleged that the money of the BJP and its affiliated organisations, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the Bajrang Dal, was deposited in foreign banks ahead of the demonetisation, charging that the information ofthe decision was leaked to party leaders.

In the middle of the speech, Ms. Banerjee pulled out two new Rs. 500 notes and pointed out inconsistencies in their design, even as she questioned the government’s ability to print enough currency notes to meet the shortfall.

“Arrest me if you want,” the TMC leader thundered in Hindi, as she vowed to carry forward her campaign against demonetisation till it was rolled back. “We have to unite to save the country...wake up, unite,” she said.

Top brass absent

The top brass of SP, including CM Akhilesh Yadav and supremo Mulayam Singh, skipped the meeting. SP vice-president Kironmoy Nanda filled in for Mulayam Singh, as per his “directions”, while ministers Ravidas Mehrotra, Arvind Kumar Singh Gope and Tez Narayan Pandey represented Akhiles

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