West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday urged workers of her Trinamool Congress to hold “return black money” demonstrations across the state against the BJP in a bid to counter their ongoing “cut money” protests.
Accusing the saffron party of misguiding common people regarding “cut money” and attacking Trinamool leaders on the issue, she asked party workers to organise “return black money” demonstrations against the BJP in all administrative blocks in the state.
“I had a noble intention when I cautioned my partymen to ensure that people do not get deprived of our government’s welfare schemes. Providing the benefits of such small scale welfare schemes is a duty of a poor government like ours. But now the goons of BJP are asking the Trinamool leaders to return ‘cut money’.
“Ask them to return the black money first,” Banerjee said at the Trinamool martyrs’ day rally here.
“They (the BJP) spent crores of rupees during the elections. Where did the money come from? Their party office in Delhi is like a ten-star hotel. How much property have they bought in Bengal after demonetisation? I urge the Trinamool Congress workers to hold demonstrations in all the blocks on July 26 and 27, demanding the BJP leaders return black money, people’s money,” she said.
Banerjee said her message was not just directed at her party but to all the political parties in general, as well as the state government officials, so that people get the benefit of the welfare schemes.
She also claimed the Left Front, which ruled the state for 34 years, did not return a single penny from the “cut money” they had taken during their reign.
However, the Trinamool supremo asked her party workers not to take up law in their own hands during the protests and assured them that the state administration will do its job if the BJP tries to provoke people any further agaibst Trinamool over the issue of ‘cut money’.
Banerjee also urged the Trinamool workers to increase mass contact by being in touch with people on the ground and said it will help the party to bounce back as an “ideal party”.
“Do politics by going to the houses of the tribal people and sitting in the tea stalls in your locality. Politics must be done by being around people. It cannot be done by sitting at home. Do your politics by spending nights at the villages of the scheduled caste and scheduled tribes, minorities, poor people,” she told her party workers.
Hailing the party’s booth level workers as “the main source of party’s strength” , she urged them to fight unitedly against the BJP and not to be scared or intimidated by anybody.
Responding to Banerjee’s remarks Bengal BJP Chief Dilip Ghosh said it was she who introduced the term ‘cut money’ in Bengal politics but might have never thought that her party would face so much heat due to this.
“She introduced the term cut money. It was she who first brought this in the limelight. In West Bengal everything happens with the inspiration of our Chief Minister and the cut money protests are no exceptions,” Ghosh mocked.
“These are spontaneous protests by common people against Trinamool’s malpractices. BJP has stood by the people as always. In some places we even played the role of a mediator between Trinamool leaders and the agitators and made sure that people get their money back,” he added.