Accuses Modi govt of infringing on constitutional rights of people.
Lucknow: West Bengal chief minister Mamta Banerjee on Tuesday dared Prime Minister Narendra Modi to arrest her and put her in jail, but said that she would continue her war against demonetisation.
With tacit support from UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, Ms Banerjee addressed a meeting in Lucknow in which she termed demonetisation “black Emergency”.
Though the UP chief minister did not join the Trinamul Congress meeting, he did send his message which was read out by senior UP minister Arvind Singh Gope. A sizeable presence of Samajwadi ministers and MP Kironmoy Nanda and party workers at the meeting indicated SP’s support to Ms Banerjee.
In her speech, Ms Banerjee remained fiery as ever when she accused the Modi government of infringing upon the constitutional rights of the people. “It is your money in your account but you cannot use it. You have earned this money, paid income tax on it, but you are being made to feel like a thief. It seems we are all thieves and the BJP leaders are the only honest ones in the country,” she said.
She said that the Modi government had already taken away cash from the people and would not take away “stree dhan”, then the future of the youth and also their houses. “Migrant workers are being forced to return to their homes because there is no cash with their employers,” she added.
Referring to the Prime Minister’s instructions to his party MPs and MLAs to disclose their bank statements to the party president Amit Shah, the West Bengal chief minister said that the Prime Minister should first seek the statement of account from his party president who had bought land in several states just before demonetisation.
“Demonetisation is a scandal that must be probed. If Modiji wanted to bring back black money, why did he not go to Swiss Bank? What kind of policy is this that you can get notes from Big Bazaar but not from cooperatives?” she asked.
Ms Banerjee said that the situation would worsen when people get their salaries this week but will not have cash to buy food because of the ban on withdrawals from banks.
Taking a dig at cashless economy concept, Ms Banerjee said that 63 per cent of villages in India did not have banking facilities and ‘people cannot survive on plastic cards’.