Mamata dares BJP to arrest her, says allegations of rise in assets ‘baseless’

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New Delhi: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday (August 29, 2022) attacked the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for branding everybody as “thieves” and said that had she not been in politics, she would have asked her people to “tear off the tongues” of those liars.

Addressing a rally of her party’s student wing, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief said that the central agencies and “ill-gotten money of the BJP” are being used to dislodge elected state governments run by parties that are opposed to the saffron camp. Mamata also vowed to defeat the saffron party in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

“The BJP is branding everybody as thieves. They are campaigning as if all of us in the TMC are thieves and only the BJP and its leaders are holy. Had I not been in politics, I would have asked my party leaders to tear out their tongues,” she was quoted as saying by the news agency PTI.

BJP using central agencies, black money to topple elected state govts

The Bengal CM also said that a “malicious campaign” has been unleashed against senior TMC leaders, including her, Firhad Hakim and Abhishek Banerjee.

Apprehending that Hakim might be arrested as he was recently summoned by the central agencies, Banerjee said, “If he is arrested, you can rest assured it will be a fake case, just to harass him.”

“They (BJP) are talking about the money with TMC leaders. From where is the BJP getting thousand of crores to dislodge elected state governments in line of the Maharashtra model. The BJP is parking money abroad through hawala. The BJP has to be defeated in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls,” she said.

Dare BJP to arrest me, allegations of rise in assets baseless

The West Bengal Chief Minister also dared the BJP to have her arrested, even as she dubbed the allegations of a rise in assets of her and her relatives exponentially in the last few years as “baseless”.

“Someone told me they have filed a case against me, saying the assets of Mamata Banerjee and her family members have exponentially increased in the past few years. All my relatives have nuclear families, and we only celebrate festivals together. My mother was my only responsibility,” she said.

Alleging an exponential rise in the assets of relatives of Mamata Banerjee in recent years, a PIL filed before the Calcutta High Court on Monday sought an investigation into it by a central agency.

“Why are they lodging a case here? I would urge them to approach the international court as the BJP might interfere in the cases,” she said adding that she earns her living by writing books.

“For the past 12 years, I have forfeited a monthly pension of Rs 1 lakh as a former parliamentarian. Even as a chief minister, I have given up the monthly remuneration. I pay for my own cup of tea and rarely use government vehicles. I stay at my own place, which was given to me by my father,” she said.

Alleging that the BJP is trying to smear her image and dragging her name in every matter, she dared the party to have her arrested. “If they arrest me, they will understand their mistake,” she stated.

BJP talks about ‘Beti Bachao’ but they released Bilkis Bano convicts

Mamata Banerjee also hit out at BJP over the release of 11 convicts in the Bilkis Bano rape case and said that she will hold a 48-hour long dharna in Kolkata to press for action against the accused.

“The BJP talks about ‘Beti Bachao’ and ‘Beti Padhao’ and its government released those involved in Bilkis Bano case. Is this justice? We will organise 48-hour long dharna in Kolkata to press for action against the accused,” she said.

Bilkis Bano was five months pregnant when she was gang-raped while fleeing the riots which broke out after the Godhra train burning in 2002. Her three-year-old daughter was among the seven killed.

The 11 men convicted in the case walked out of the Godhra sub-jail on August 15 after the Gujarat government allowed their release under its remission policy. They had completed more than 15 years in jail.

(With agency inputs)