Expressing dismay over the ‘thief’ slur levelled at her Trinamool Congress party by the opposition, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said she had not accepted a single paisa nor taken even a cup of tea from anyone.
The erstwhile Left Front government was corrupt as one crore fake ration cards were detected after the TMC came to power defeating the coalition in 2011 and those were later scrapped, she said while addressing a programme in her Bhawanipore assembly constituency here.
Her comments came amid the hullabaloo over the arrest of senior minister Jyoti Priya Mallick by the ED last month in connection with its probe into ration supply scam. Several other party leaders were also arrested by central agencies for their alleged involvement in corruption cases. Opposition BJP has been describing the TMC regime and the party leaders as “thieves”.
“There might have been problems by certain individuals, but we made great efforts in cleaning up the system for seven-eight years. Have we taken one cup of tea with other’s money? I did not take one single paisa. I do not take the Rs 1.25 lakh monthly pension (as an MP),” she said.
Claiming that the TMC government’s move to scrap the fake ration cards led to zero starvation deaths during the Covid pandemic, Banerjee said people should compare the hunger allegedly suffered by the population at Jangalmahal region in the southern part of the state during the rule of the CPI(M)-led Left Front.
“I was stunned to discover that people eat ants at Birpahari when I went there as an opposition MP,” the TMC supremo said.
Banerjee also asked people not to allow those “who never spare a chance to speak ill against me” to go near her when she dies.
She said that as her government is pro-people, those who had given farmland at Singur for Tata’s small car project and were unable to till it even after getting it back, are still getting Rs 2,000 as a monthly allowance apart from rice.
With inputs from News18