'Will give dharna outside PM Modi's house if needed': Mamata Banerjee attacking BJP on central funds
Kolkata/IBNS: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday threatened to give a "sit-in protest" or "dharna" outside Prime Minister Narendra Modi's residence "if needed" renewing her attack on the Centre over the alleged delay in release of central funds.
Mamata sat on a 31-hour dharna, which began on Wednesday noon, at Red Road in downtown Kolkata against the Centre on a range of issues including the alleged delay in releasing central funds, hike in prices of LPG cylinders, using probe agencies for political vendetta.
Mamata on Wednesday said, "People (BJP) are saying that I cannot participate in any protest. Those who cannot respect our mothers and sisters are lecturing us on the Constitution.
"I am a seven-time elected MP and four-time elected MLA. I have served as a two-time Railway minister, Coal Mines Minister, Youth Sports Minister, and Women and Child Development Minister. But they want to teach the Constitution to me?"
Mamata at dharna stage | Photography: Avishek Mitra/IBNS
"I participated in a sit-in agitation earlier when they tried to arrest Rajeev Kumar. Jayalalithaa sat on a dharna as a Chief Minister while I am doing this protest under the party’s banner. If needed, I have the courage to sit outside the PM’s house for a dharna," the Trinamool Congress chief added.
Mamata along with her colleagues, her Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs will continue with her dharna till 7 pm on Thursday.
Trinamool Congress national general secretary and Lok Sabha MP Abhishek Banerjee too joined the dharna in the evening and pledged to take the protest to the national capital Delhi.
"If you (Mamata Banerjee) give us orders, we will take the movement to Delhi," thundered Abhishek from Red Road.
Mamata Banerjee and Abhishek Banerjee at dharna stage | Photography: Avishek Mitra/IBNS
In a counter to Mamata's dharna, the BJP state leadership held a dharna near Shyambazar Metro Station.
Slamming both Mamata and Abhishek, BJP state president Sukanta Majumdar said, "Mamata Banerjee is trying to divert people's attention from her government's corruption. Do they expect the Centre to give money for corruption?"
Mamata's Trinamool is facing massive corruption allegations on various fronts with some of its top leaders being arrested.
Former West Bengal Education Minister and now suspended Trinamool leader Partha Chatterjee was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate after a huge sum of money was recovered from his close aide Arpita Mukherjee's flat in connection with the teacher recruitment scam.
Trinamool district president of Birbhum, Anubrata Mondal, is now in Delhi's Tihar Jail months after he was arrested in connection with the coal scam.
(Photography: Avishek Mitra/IBNS)