Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday hit out at the Prime Minister for his government’s abject failure to tackle non-performing assets in banks. The government had not taken any step in this regard, Banerjee said, adding that the NPAs in Bank of Baroda alone stood at a whopping Rs 5 lakh crore.
She claimed that there was a “hidden agenda” behind the demonetisation of notes.
Banerjee alleged the Prime Minister was threatening parties raising voice against demonetisation and said she would hit the Delhi streets on Tuesday to protest against the government action.
“The PM should be sober. PM should behave like a PM. If necessary, he should convene an all-party meeting on the issue,” Banerjee told a press conference in Kolkata.
“There is no ego fight. There should be a plan of action on demonetisation. My humble submission is that let us work together to solve the issue. The people are suffering,” the Trinamool Congress supremo said.
“I don’t know what is the hidden agenda. It has to be brought in the public domain as people from all spheres of life are suffering due to demonetisation of notes,” she said adding that she would go to Lucknow, Bihar and Punjab after Delhi to up the ante against the Modi government’s “anti-people” decision.
Banerjee would lead a rally at Jantar Mantar in Delhi on November 23, on the same day, Trinamool Congress workers would hit the streets here in Kolkata protesting against demonetisation. “I would be in Delhi on November 23 and 24. Though it is not final yet, I may also stay there on November 25 and 26 as well, she said adding that on November 29 she would hold a rally in Lucknow and Bihar on December 1 and 2. She will also be visiting Punjab.
Stating that it is a good sign that all political parties in Opposition have come together in Parliament, Banerjee once again gave a call to the political parties to join them in the fight against the step taken up by the Centre. At the same time, she also left the option of marching ahead alone if no one joined them to give respite to common people from the ongoing “financial emergency”.
“In democracy I cannot force someone to support me, but I would request everyone to build pressure against the hidden agenda of the Centre,” she said adding that she was taking the movement to the national level in the interest of people and no one could say that she had any political motive in it as there was no election in Bengal.
Launching a scathing attack on Modi, she said: “We have never seen a Prime Minister like this in the country. He is threatening all political parties raising voice against his decision. Political rallies are something different, but he must have some respect for others as the head of the Union government. I don’t know whether the Union finance minister was aware of demonetisation of notes,” she said.
“We had supported GST despite knowing that it would affect the state’s exchequer. But that doesn’t mean we have to support whatever they impose on us,” she said maintaining that she would continue the movement for common people and she was not scared even if someone threatened to kill her.
She also took a dig at the Centre for using lotus as symbol for the BRICS summit in New Delhi and picture of lotus, elephant and dancing peacock in the new Rs 2000 notes. “I would take up this issue later, but at present I once again urge the Prime Minister to hold an all party meeting and resolve the ongoing trouble due to demonetisation of notes,” she said.
“I don’t know what more awaits India. Recession has already set in and GDP is also taking a hit,” she said.